March 2, 2020
Dear Moses Brown Community,
I’m writing with an update about coronavirus in RI and its impact at Moses Brown. Earlier this evening, we shared the following information with several grades in Lower and Middle School, and in response to several questions that arose, I want to provide the same information to the entire community.
- Last week, an MB parent who is a physician was involved in treating RI coronavirus patient #2.
- This parent currently has no symptoms of coronavirus, nor do the spouse or children.
- The RI Department of Health does not feel it necessary to test the family for coronavirus at this time. Nevertheless, out of an abundance of caution, the parent has been placed on quarantine at home until March 12.
- The parent is maintaining a prescribed hygienic regimen at home, including decontaminating surfaces and maintaining physical separation from the rest of the family.
- Consistent with RIDOH guidance, the children do not need to be excluded from school.
We certainly understand that this situation is likely to raise questions and anxiety, particularly in regard to school attendance.
In determining whether it is safe for children to attend school in these circumstances, please know that we are following the explicit guidance of the RI Department of Health, who conveyed to school leaders yesterday that someone twice removed from a coronavirus patient---referred to as a Contact of a Contact---does not need to be quarantined from work or school, as long as the direct Contact is not symptomatic (as in this case). In this particular situation, the rest of the MB community is three times removed from the patient in question, meaning that there is even less risk.
If the coronavirus continues to spread in our state, more interconnections such as this are likely to surface. We will, of course, monitor all new information daily and make adjustments to policy and practice as needed. But for the time being, I want to clarify that Moses Brown will continue to follow the guidance of health professionals at RIDOH regarding school attendance and quarantining.
We respect the individual decisions of parents regarding whether it is safe to send children to school and pledge to remain in close communication moving ahead.
Head of School