Town Flu Vaccine Clinics on 9/30 & 10/16

posted Sep 24, 2020, 7:10 AM by Hillary Stasonis   [ updated Sep 24, 2020, 7:11 AM ]

Vaccine for ages 19+ including high dose for 65 and older.  
Where: North Andover Senior Center 
When: Wednesday, September 30th from 12pm-4pm Friday, October 16th from 10am-2pm 

Coronavirus Update #3 - March 12th

posted Mar 12, 2020, 12:01 PM by Hillary Stasonis

Dear North Andover Community,

I am writing to provide an update on continuing efforts in North Andover Public Schools regarding the Coronavirus. At this time, there are no positive or presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 in North Andover.

Our district leadership team and the Town’s Joint Task Force are collaborating to assess new information and adjust plans as necessary during this evolving situation. The Joint Task Force is also working continuously on preparedness and responsiveness. We are closely following the latest guidance of our local and state Department of Public Health (DPH), as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). All information and updates are posted on the NAPS website.

North Andover Public Schools will remain open based on CDC and DPH guidance. Should the district need to close, we will utilize Beyond The Classroom. If we close for an extended period of time, we will be following the guidance of the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) in developing a plan. 

Health, hygiene habits, and cleaning are particularly important to us. Students have been educated about handwashing and are encouraged to wash their hands throughout the day. Our custodians are implementing daily cleaning plans, along with enhanced cleaning and disinfection of high-contact surfaces (desks, doorknobs, light switches, chrome books, etc.). The district will also use heavy-duty electrostatic disinfection application spray guns to further sanitize facilities as needed. Additionally, school cafeterias have taken additional precautionary steps, as directed by the Board of Health. Also, our school transportation company has cleaned all buses and will continue to clean and sanitize regularly.

 

Regarding school-sponsored trips and travel, NAPS faculty and students do not have any international trips scheduled this spring. Travel outside of Massachusetts has been discontinued at this time, and school- sponsored activities are continually being assessed based on DPH, DESE, North Andover Public Health and CDC guidance. To this point, the recommendation from the North Andover Board of Health is to postpone Mr. North Andover, which is an extremely large community event of 890 attendees. Any information on rescheduling the event will be sent by Mr. Jackson at a future date. Should there be a change or cancellation of any future events, guardians/parents and staff will be notified.

The safety of our students, staff, and families is North Andover Public School’s top priority. Our Town and District are wholeheartedly dedicated to the continuous and ongoing evaluation and communication of new information as it becomes available.

 

Dr. Gregg T. Gilligan, Superintendent 

 

The Town of North Andover formed a joint task force, which includes: the School Superintendent, the Town Manager, the Board of Health Director, the Public Health Nurse, both Directors of Information Technology, the Assistant Superintendents, the School’s Director of Health Services, the Deputy Town Manager, Town Counsel, the Director of Administrative Services and the Director of Planning and Community Development.

Coronavirus Update 2

posted Mar 6, 2020, 2:23 PM by Hillary Stasonis

The school department is working closely and meeting regularly with the Town of North Andover Health Department to ensure we have the most up to date information, guidance, and recommendations from the CDC and Massachusetts Department of Public Health.  This afternoon I participated in a conference call for all Massachusetts Superintendents where representatives from both the Department of Education and the Department of Public Health provided guidance on the Coronavirus and answered questions.   In addition, DESE has advised that they will be sharing more information about student and staff absences and school year requirements in the coming days.  I will share the DESE information with you in our next update.

Although the risk of Coronavirus remains low for Massachusetts residents, I did want to provide you with an update on some of the proactive measures and supports that we have put in place here at NAPS.  Most importantly, please be assured that we are following ALL recommendations and guidance from the CDC, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the North Andover Department of Health.  

  • As you may know, we already have in place Beyond The Classroom Learning for snow days and should the need arise, we believe we will be able to utilize this program for any school cancellations.

  • The news coverage and talk of Coronavirus can cause anxiety in our students.  Our school counselors and school nurses are available to assist students. I encourage you to reach out to your child’s teacher or principal if you have concerns.  Additionally, families can find information on dealing with anxiety in children on our Social Emotional Learning Website resource page.  

  • No school-sponsored international trips are scheduled for the spring.  Any school- sponsored domestic travel will be in accordance with recommendations from the CDC and the Department of Public Health.

  • We have many individuals who are, or have been, traveling.  North Andover Public Health and our schools are working together with MA DPH and are following the protocols set up by the CDC and other federal agencies to address the emerging issue of Coronavirus. 

  • North Andover Public Health  will be contacted by MA DPH should any traveler in the community be identified as requiring quarantine. The NA Health Department will assess and monitor the situation and our normal protocols for illness continues to be followed.  We will take any additional steps as directed by the CDC, MA DPH & NA Public Health. 

  • Staff have been asked to remind all students daily to wash their hands before lunch.

Cleaning

  • The cleaning products used by NAPS staff already include products that kill the Coronavirus.   

  • Heavy-duty electrostatic disinfection application spray guns (you may have seen this on a recent news broadcast) are used as part of our cleaning protocols and as directed by Director of Nursing Cheryl Barczak and/or Town Health Director Brian Lagrasse. 

  • We have ordered additional spray guns to have available as a precaution.

  • We have soap and hand sanitizer available at all schools and have a backup shipment scheduled to arrive next week.

  • Our bus contractor, North Reading Transportation, has advised that they are taking extra precautions including increased frequency of cleaning of vehicles with particular attention to “high touch” areas including handrails, door handles and seats.

 

I am sharing the recent Town of North Andover Coronavirus update which includes current facts and recommendations regarding the Coronavirus.

                       

We will continue to monitor this situation closely and we are committed to the safety and well-being of our students, staff, and families. If you have additional questions, you may call the North Andover Health Department at 978-688-9540.     


Information re: Coronavirus

posted Mar 5, 2020, 8:22 AM by Hillary Stasonis

As news about COVID-19 (coronavirus) develops, North Andover is following the situation closely. The North Andover Health Department, Director of Nursing and public safety officials are meeting regularly to discuss any updates to our existing school protocols, to track documented cases of the flu (and other viruses should they arise), and monitor school attendance.

As you may recall from several years ago, we have managed the H1N1 and norovirus in a similar situation, and the protocols are ready at hand. Please know we are following recommendations from both the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Based on current information, health officials are recommending local communities and schools take the same precautions to protect against coronavirus as we do to prevent the spread of everyday illnesses like the common cold or the flu. These recommendations are as follows:
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with the inside of your elbow when you cough or sneeze.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
DPH has created a website updated with the latest guidance: www.mass.gov/2019coronavirus. The North Andover Health Department is also available at (978) 688-9540 if you have additional questions or concerns.

We will continue to monitor new developments as they relate to COVID-19 and will update the community accordingly. Please be assured that the physical and emotional health and well-being of all members of the North Andover community are our highest priority during this evolving situation. School nurses and counselors are available for students if needed.

Dr. Gregg T. Gilligan

Superintendent of Schools

Flu Updates - Jan 27th, 2020

posted Jan 27, 2020, 12:55 PM by Hillary Stasonis

Now that Massachusetts has increased the Flu severity from Moderate to High this week, here are some helpful tips to keep you Healthy and what to watch out for.

As always, please keep your child HOME if they have a Fever of 100 degrees or higher.  Children must remain home until they are fever FREE for at least 24 hours WITHOUT the use of medicine.  Keeping children healthy while in school is our goal. 

Preventing the Flu:
  1. Get Vaccinated!  While there are many different flu viruses, flu vaccines protect against the 3 or 4 viruses that research suggests will be most common. Flu vaccination also has been shown to significantly reduce a child’s risk of dying from influenza. While there are many different flu viruses, flu vaccines protect against the 3 or 4 viruses that research suggests will be most common. Three-component vaccines contain an H3N2, an H1N1 and a B virus.
  2. Prevent Spreading Germs!
    • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
    • While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.
    • If you are sick with flu-like illness, CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone for 24 hours without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.)
    • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. After using a tissue, throw it in the trash and wash your hands.
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub. 
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way. 
    • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like flu.
Flu Symptoms:

Flu signs and symptoms usually come on suddenly. People who are sick with flu often feel some or all of these symptoms:
  • Fever* or feeling feverish/chills
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue (tiredness)
  • Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.
*It’s important to note that not everyone with flu will have a fever.

Flu Facts

  • All influenza strains that have been characterized in Massachusetts this season to date are covered by the current influenza vaccine.
  • In the 2019-2020 flu season, more influenza B than influenza A positive specimens have been reported by hospitals and outpatient facilities in Massachusetts.
  • Nationally, influenza-like illness activity remains elevated and influenza B is most common, however, during recent weeks approximately equal numbers of influenza B and influenza A have been reported.
  • Additional statewide and national data including geographic spread, ILI activity, and pneumonia and influenza mortality are available at CDC’s FluView Weekly Report at www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly and FluView Interactive https://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/fluviewinteractive.htm.

Flu activity remains elevated. It’s not too late to get vaccinated.
Flu vaccination is always the best way to prevent flu and its potentially serious complications.

Stay Healthy This Holiday Season

posted Nov 25, 2019, 7:56 AM by Hillary Stasonis   [ updated Nov 25, 2019, 8:11 AM ]

As the Holidays approach us, here are 7 Tips to help keep you Healthy!  


  1. Wash your hands – be sure to wash your hands before meals, after you blow your nose, using the bathroom and anything in between that may get your hands dirty.  Be sure to lather for 20 seconds(the length it takes to sing the Happy Birthday Song)!!!!!
  2. Cover your cough or sneeze – if you feel a cough or a sneeze coming on, get your elbow ready!  coughing and sneezing into your elbow significantly decreases the spread of germs.  Did you know that a sneeze can travel up to 200 FEET?!?!
  3. Get your Flu Shot – The Flu vaccine is the best way to help prevent getting the Flu.  Flu vaccines cause antibodies to develop in the body about two weeks after vaccination. These antibodies provide protection against infection with the viruses that are used to make the vaccine.  You won't get the Flu from the Flu vaccine!
  4. Get enough Sleep – be sure to go to bed early so you have enough time to let your brains and body reset for school.  Elementary aged children require 10-12 hours of rest every night.
  5. Eat Healthy – make sure to eat healthy balanced meals!  Don't forget to eat breakfast; Its the most important meal of the day!
  6. Drink plenty of water – Our bodies are made up of about 60% water so it is important to drink enough fluids to keep our bodies moving.
  7. Stay Active – Staying active helps to build our muscles, keep our heart healthy and helps our lungs move oxygen to our brains.  60 minutes of exercise a day is encouraged for kids 6-17 years old!

2019 North Andover Family Flu Clinic

posted Sep 30, 2019, 9:41 AM by Hillary Stasonis   [ updated Sep 30, 2019, 5:43 PM ]

Stay healthy this winter! Get your flu shot on November 12th, 2019 between 5-7pm at North Andover High School. 
Ages 4 and older (including High Dose for 65+) 
Please bring all insurance cards with you to the clinic, and a filled-out copy of the 2019-2020 Immunization Insurance Information and Consent Form

See this flyer from the Town of North Andover for more details, including clinics for people ages 19+

NAPS EEE Update - August 27, 2019

posted Aug 27, 2019, 2:50 PM by Hillary Stasonis

The Towns Director of Public Health Brian LaGrasse reports that North Andover’s risk level for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) remains at the Moderate Level as determined by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Neighboring communities of Andover and Methuen have recently had risk levels for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) increased from "moderate" to "high". 
As a result, and out of an abundance of caution, the Health Department has recommended that all outdoor events for North Andover Public Schools should conclude by 7pm for the month of September.
North Andover High School will be releasing information about changes to sports, programming or other activities. 
If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to call the North Andover Public Health Director at 978-688-9540
Please see this link for more information from the Town of North Andover: North Andover Mosquito Control And Spraying Update

Local Mosquito Control

posted Aug 26, 2019, 7:11 AM by Hillary Stasonis

Please be advised that to address concerns of mosquito borne disease, the North Andover Board of Health has made the following decision in regards to local mosquito control:  


The Town of North Andover, in accordance with our state approved Integrated Pest Management Plan,  will be applying a barrier spray to the perimeter of the fields and also applying an adulticide to control mosquito activity.  The areas to be sprayed:  the greenery at the edges of all public schools,  school playing fields and school playgrounds.  The Department of Public Health advises that fields/playgrounds will be safe to use in the morning.  The schedule for spraying is as follows: 


Date:  Tuesday, August 27 Time:  8:00 pm to 3:00 am


The Northeast Mosquito Control’s licensed pesticide applicator is in charge of the barrier and adulticide applications.  The barrier material to be applied is: Suspend SC (EPA Reg# 432-763). Active Ingredient: Deltamethrin 4.75%. Suspend SC is an advanced-generation pyrethroid that fights more than 50 pests including mosquitoes. It works at remarkably low concentrations and provides fast knockdown with a long residual. This product contains no synergist, therefore no Piperonyl Butoxid (PBO).  The adulticide material to be applied is: Zenivex E4-RTU (EPA Reg# 2724-807). Active Ingredient: Etofenprox (CAS #80844-07-1) 4%. Zenivex E4 RTU mosquito adulticide is a high efficacy, reduced-risk adulticide.  This provides quick, permanent knockdown and reliable control of adult mosquito populations in any mosquito habitat flying at the time of application. This product contains no synergist, therefore no Piperonyl Butoxide (PBO). 


Additional information is linked below and hard copies of the documents will also be available at the Superintendent’s office 566 Main Street:

Pesticide Standard Written Notification

Suspend SC Safety Data Sheet & Product Label

Zenivex E4-RTU Safety Data Sheet & Product Label

333 CMR 14.00:  An Act Protecting Children & Families from Harmful Pesticides


If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to call the North Andover Public Health Director at 978 688-9540.


Dr. Gregg T. Gilligan

Superintendent of School

Vaping discussed in NA Youth Center Podcast

posted Feb 13, 2019, 9:31 AM by Hillary Stasonis

Rick Gorman of the North Andover Youth Center interviews NAHS Nurse Lauren McDonald and NAPD School Resource Officer Cam Pramas on the Vaping/ Juuling problem in our community. 

https://nayouth.podbean.com/e/198-the-juuling-problem-in-na/

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