Increase in Respiratory Illnesses and How to Prevent

  • The Commonwealth, the Northeast and much of the US are seeing increases in respiratory illness in infants and children. Infants and children may be particularly susceptible to seasonal respiratory viral infections during the 2022-2023 fall and winter because they have had limited previous exposure to these respiratory viruses.

    The Department of Public Health and the Massachusetts Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics want to remind parents and families about steps to take to prevent illness and stay healthy this season:

    • Vaccinate your children ages 6 months and older against influenza
    • Vaccinate your children ages 6 months and older against COVID-19
    • Remember, you can get a COVID-19 vaccine and flu shot at the same time
    • Practice hand hygiene
    • Clean high touch surfaces
    • Keep children home from daycare or school who have fever, especially with a cough
    • Avoid social gatherings if you or your children are ill

    For the full letter from Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the Massachusetts Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatric, visit: 

    MA DPH and MA APP Letter on Preventing Illness this Winter

COVID Health and Safety - 2022-23 School Year

Notification of COVID Cases in Schools

  • For the 2022-23 school year, NPS families may be notified of COVID cases if a cluster of infections emerges at a school. Guidance from the Medical Advisory Group is as follows:

    "Decisions about notifying individuals about exposure to a case or cases should be left to the judgment of the school nurses. The most likely situation in which the school nurse would notify is when a cluster of three or more cases have occurred in a setting where close exposure might result in secondary cases."

    The assessment of the cluster, impacted populations, and notification process will be similar to other communicable disease outbreaks in schools, such as flu and strep throat. School health staff will work with school and district leadership to share timely and actionable information.

    Schools will no longer send notifications of COVID cases in classrooms or teams, nor will principals share the total number of COVID cases in a school at the end of each week. Families may check the Newton HHS COVID Data webpage for information on known COVID cases in the city.