From the Head of School
Dear MHS Community,
 
I write to inform you that we have been notified of a second, confirmed case of coronavirus/COVID-19 in the Miss Hall’s community. 
 
The individual, an adult member of the community, has been self-quarantined since the start of Spring Break when symptoms developed and is following the guidelines of the CDC and the local Health Department to self-isolate until 14 days free of any COVID-19 symptoms. At this time, all members of the household are asymptomatic and are also following strict self-isolation protocols.

Members of the School’s Health Services team are in contact with local and state health officials regarding next steps, and, as with last week’s news of an initial case in the MHS community, we will not share information about the individual’s identity or condition. Should the Health Department recommend additional actions that affect specific community members, we will provide guidance and follow their protocols. I ask  community members to refrain from making assumptions or speculating about anyone’s health status.

It is important to note that given the rapid spread of the illness — Berkshire County has reported 73 confirmed cases as of Thursday afternoon — it will become increasingly difficult to confirm exposure and trace transmission. As the illness becomes more widespread and as more people learn of family members, friends, or acquaintances affected by or potentially exposed to the illness, we urge everyone to follow preventative measures: maintaining social distancing, practicing thorough and frequent hand hygiene, and paying close attention to any symptoms that may develop. Other best practices include staying at home and avoiding unnecessary contact with older people and those with underlying health conditions.  We urge all community members to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations to keep themselves healthy and prevent the spread of illness, and the CDC provides this guidance regarding coronavirus/COVID-19 symptoms. We have included a glossary of terms below, and additional information is also available at www.misshalls.org/resources .

I would also like to report that the thirty-two students still on campus are in good health, good spirits, are (really) well-fed, and are being taken care of by a terrific cohort of adults. They are checking in daily with the Health Center, not only to be on the lookout for any signs and symptoms of illness, but for a check of their overall wellbeing during a time of great uncertainty. Students and families continue to make arrangements for flights home, where possible.
 
Please know that we are doing all that we can to maintain the health and wellness of the entire MHS community. Our Incident Response Team continues to meet regularly and monitor closely any pandemic developments, and we will continue to communicate with you as this situation evolves.  We ask everyone to do their part to limit the spread of the virus, to keep calm and informed, and to extend care and compassion to everyone. 
 
As always, please do not hesitate to reach out to me with questions or concerns.
 
Best,

Glossary of Terms: 

Isolation means the separation of a person or group of people known or reasonably believed to be infected with a communicable disease and potentially infectious from those who are not infected to prevent spread of the communicable disease. Isolation for public health purposes may be voluntary or compelled by federal, state, or local public health order.

Quarantine in general means the separation of a person or group of people reasonably believed to have been exposed to a communicable disease but not yet symptomatic, from others who have not been so exposed, to prevent the possible the spread of the communicable disease.

Social distancing means remaining out of congregate settings, avoiding mass gatherings, and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet or 2 meters) from others when possible.   
Contacts and Resources


For health questions and concerns:  Christie Puz, R.N., Director of Health Services, 413-395-7074,  cpuz@misshalls.org  
 
For travel arrangements and Spring Break info : Mary Bazanchuk, Asst. Dean of Students and Director of Residential Life, 413-395-7045,  mbazanchuk@misshalls.org

For questions about counseling resources: Teresa Gentile, School Counselor, 413-395-7073,  tgentile@misshalls.org
 
For academics questions: Lisa Alberti, Dean of Academics and Faculty, 413-395-7108,  lalberti@misshalls.org
 
For general questions: Miss Hall's School Main Number, 413-443-6401 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
 
The World Health Organization
 
The U.S. Department of State