Dear Ranney School Community,
We continue to monitor developments related to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), and as I am sure you have seen from the news, the virus has spread to over 40 countries around the world, including the United States. Although cases in the U.S. have been limited, the CDC has advised that Americans should prepare for the eventual spread of COVID-19 in local communities.
What does this mean for Ranney School? We convened a meeting of the school's Medical Advisory Board yesterday evening. The group includes: Dr. Meg Fisher, a world renowned pediatric infectious disease specialist with The Unterberg Children's Hospital at Monmouth Medical Center; and Dr. Niraj Govil '85, a Colonel and Flight Surgeon with the United States Air Force. Dr. Govil has advised the government and military personnel on contingency planning for pandemics. Ranney is extremely fortunate to have the counsel of Drs. Govil and Fisher, along with other members of the Medical Advisory Board, to advise us during this time of uncertainty.
The Medical Advisory Board provided the following updates on COVID-19:
  • Some 80 percent of those infected have a relatively mild form of the disease. That means fever, cough, and shortness of breath. In these cases, the illness lasts 2-3 weeks and patients recover fully.
  • Children have shown to be remarkably resilient in the face of COVID-19. Less than 5% of infections in China have occurred in children under 18.
  • COVID-19 is highly transmissible through contact with bodily fluids and can survive on a surface for several days. Some of those infected remain asymptomatic, and it is possible that individuals can transmit the disease before they know they are sick. The incubation period, once someone becomes infected, is generally up to 14 days. Early symptoms are similar to those of a cold or the flu, so COVID-19 is not readily identified unless an individual is tested. The CDC is currently the only organization that is able to test for COVID-19 using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing. Hospitals can collect specimens, but must send them to the New Jersey Department of Health, who then send them to the CDC, for testing.
  • Current treatment is mainly supportive - fluids, bed rest, oxygen, and perhaps antibiotics for treatment of secondary infections. Although there is currently no treatment for COVID-19, there are a number of trials in progress, including for a new antiviral, Remdesivir.
  • While there is currently no vaccine, labs around the world are racing to develop one. Until a vaccine or treatment becomes available, the principal public health strategy is to rely on testing, quarantining, and isolation to contain disease spread. 
  • The CDC has advised that U.S. citizens should plan for "significant family disruption" to take place at a future date. This could mean extended periods of school, work place, and public event closing. 
  • The World Health Organization' s interactive map shows reported cases of COVID-19 around the globe.
Based on these developments, we have prepared the following responses to frequently asked questions that are top of mind for families as the implications of COVID-19 unfold. We will continue to update the community on an ongoing basis.
1. What are the implications of COVID-19 for families planning to travel for Spring Break?

We know some families already have plans to travel. There is a possibility that you may find yourself quarantined if you travel to a location where there is an outbreak. We ask that if your family travels to a country impacted by COVID-19 that you take reasonable precautions and that you consider self-quarantine when you return home should you fear that you or a family member might have been infected. Refer to the CDC website, , for the latest information. 
2.  What are the implications of COVID-19 for international and national trips planned for Maymester?
We are staying up to date with CDC guidelines and are in touch with travel companies to assess options, including the possibility of rescheduling trips. As of today, ACIS, the company that is orchestrating our Upper School international Maymester trips, is continuing to operate trips per recommendations of the State Department and the CDC. However, these recommendations may change, so we are monitoring the situation closely. To stay abreast of ACIS policy, please see . In addition to monitoring risks associated with travel internationally, we will continue to update families regarding any changes in plans for travel for the Florida Maymester trip. In the meantime, we are beginning to outline alternatives that might take the place of travel programs should we need to cancel or reschedule these experiences.

3. What if our community or parts of Monmouth County are required to go into quarantine?
We are preparing contingency plans should it become necessary for our community to go into quarantine. We are researching distance/digital learning options and other ways to continue to engage students should we face a situation in which students are not able to come to school. We will update you as these plans develop.

We will continue to monitor the situation and will update you as policy or CDC recommendations change.  In the meantime, please encourage your children to employ common-sense precautions to mitigate exposure to any viruses including frequent hand-washing, cough hygiene (coughing into the sleeve), and staying home if ill. If your child does feel unwell or experiences any flu-like symptoms, please continue to follow the Ranney School Health Policy about returning to school only after being fever-free for 24 hours without fever-reducing medication and obtaining a physician's note. 
Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions.
Dr. John W. Griffith
Head of School

Medical Advisory Board
Dr. Shamina Dhillon, Chair
Dr. Ramil Bhatnagar
Sandy Epstein
Dr. Meg Fisher
Dr. Amy Goodman
Dr. Niraj Govil '85
Dr. Sunita Mann
Dr. Janine Sanderman
Dr. Brian Torpey

235 Hope Road, Tinton Falls, NJ 07724  
732.542.4777, ext. 1103