Free hand sanitizer distributed to Secaucus public schools

Hudson Regional Hospital partnered with Mayor Gonnelli to prepare students

Hudson Regional Hospital Chief of EMS Kristin Hyman teaches students the proper way to use hand sanitizer.
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Hudson Regional Hospital Chief of EMS Kristin Hyman teaches students the proper way to use hand sanitizer.

Hudson Regional Hospital (HRH) donated 3,000 hand sanitizers to all Secaucus public school children to prevent the spread of germs amid the outbreak of COVID-19, the novel coronavirus.

HRH’s Chief of Emergency Medical Services Kristin Hyman and Secaucus Mayor Michael Gonnelli were on site to distribute hand sanitizers to school children and staff on Wednesday, March 11.

Dr. Nizar Kifaieh, CEO of Hudson Regional Hospital, said that HRH was excited to donate the sanitizers to Secaucus school children.

“Our hospital has been preparing for weeks to be able to support our community against this current issue and our neighbors should rest assured that we are here for them,” Dr. Kifaieh told the Hudson Reporter.

Students from pre-school and kindergarten to 12th grade received the hospital’s free gift.

Middle school and high school students from Huber Street Elementary School, Clarendon Elementary School, Millridge School, and Secaucus High School received hand sanitizers as a result of HRH’s donation.

“We felt the need to educate kids on how to use it because the first line of defense against spreading germs is to observe proper hand hygiene and limit how often you touch your face,” said Dr. Kifaieh. “This is a good rule to live by all the time, not just in response to the Coronavirus.”

Hyman gave instructions to students on the proper way to use the sanitizer to avoid spreading germs.

These are part of preventative measures being taken to stop the spread of germs and the COVID-19 virus in Secaucus.

Remote instruction through Virtual Learning

The Secaucus School District has transitioned to a Virtual Learning Environment for the week of March 16 to the 20, according to an online announcement.

Teachers of grades kindergarten through 12th grade will have Google Classrooms that students will be required to log into during their scheduled hours with their “students.sboe.org” e-mail addresses. Students are advised that other gmail.com addresses will not work.

After March 20, School District officials will reassess the situation and determine if further closings will take place.

“There are no reported or confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Secaucus,” Superintendent of Schools in Secaucus Jennifer Montesano stated in a letter to the community.

Teachers have been preparing for a worst-case scenario of indefinite closures due to a public health threat.

According to Montesano, the Secaucus Public School District had a number of early dismissals to prepare for such an event. During these times, faculty and staff will develop further plans and be trained in various methods of delivering instruction that would require remote access during an extended period of time.

Early dismissals for Secaucus Middle School and High School students will take place on March 12, followed by early dismissals for Pre-K and Elementary School students on March 13.

Montesano said that an abrupt change in schedule is worth it in order to be prepared for a potential emergency.

“We recognize that this change to the calendar is disruptive, but being prepared in the case of such an event will ensure that the rigor and integrity of our curriculum remains intact in the unlikely event of an extended school closure for public health concerns,” Montesano stated.

According to Montesano, Secaucus public schools will continue to monitor the situation and work closely with local health and government organizations to ensure the well-being of the community governing the prevention, control, and reporting of communicable disease.

The closest case of COVID-19 to Secaucus is in West New York. Recently, a WNY man was hospitalized at Hackensack University Medical Center after testing positive for the virus. His previous interactions and movements are under investigation.

On March 13, Hudson County reported a second presumptive positive case of COVID-19. According to Mayor Steve Fulop, a 41-year-old female who lives in downtown Jersey City felt symptoms and initiated testing with her private physician before being diagnosed with the virus.

For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at disrael@hudsonreporter.com.