Event Updates and COVID-19 Information
In adherence to Governor Raimondo’s announcement today, Bay View will remain closed for the remainder of the school year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with academics continuing in our Virtual Learning model. Let us not forget, we are a Mercy community. Our foundress, Sister Catherine McAuley would remind us, “A community in which this universal charity reigns, is capable of surmounting all difficulties.” And so will we.
We are assessing learning and all other events on a weekly basis, and we will be in regular communication as we receive new information and decisions are made. We will notify you of changes using the same methods we use for canceling school and other events in inclement weather.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WARWICK, R.I. (April 24, 2020) – In accordance with the announcement Thursday by Governor Gina Raimondo that students will continue distance learning for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year because of the COVID-19 public health threat, the Rhode Island Interscholastic League regretfully announces that the 2020 Spring Sports Season has been cancelled.
“In our original statement, we said that we would hold a spring season if we returned to school,” said Principals’ Committee on Athletics Chairman and Cranston High School East principal Sean Kelly. “Throughout this process, we have followed the guidelines set forth by Governor Gina Raimondo, the Rhode Island Department of Health, the Rhode Island Department of Education and our Superintendents. We are going to continue to do so. We are a school-based athletic program; therefore, if we do not return to school, we cannot return to sports.
“This is obviously devastating for everyone,” Kelly continued. “It is devastating to all the student athletes, especially the seniors who have been waiting for their final high school season. It is devastating to all the schools. It is devastating to all of our communities. It is devastating to everyone. We do not take this decision lightly. It’s awful. There’s no other way to put it.”
“As we all know, we are facing unprecedented circumstances,” said RIIL Executive Director Thomas Mezzanotte. “While we have all established protocols and emergency action plans for many types of situations, we simply have no playbook to follow for this unique global health crisis. Just as we made every effort to complete the winter tournament season, we remained hopeful that at least some form of a spring sports season would be possible and spent the past several weeks exploring many scenarios in the event that it could be saved. We had the best of intentions, but unfortunately were at the mercy of this deadly virus. We are dealing with a catastrophic situation, and the only way we can respond is in a way that supports the health and safety of our student-athletes and everyone involved.”
“I commend the PCOA for the hard work, expertise and attention that they have paid to these important issues,” Mezzanotte said. “These are not issues that we deal with every day.
“We also commend our 36,000 student-athletes, school and district administrators, faculty, athletic directors and coaches at all our member schools. You have shown great resilience, a willingness to adapt and support our student-athletes during this unprecedented time.
“To our senior student-athletes, we thank you for the positive contributions you made to your teams, schools and communities. While this worldwide event has caused you to grow up faster than planned, you all have very bright futures ahead. We hope the lessons learned while participating in education-based athletics, along with the friendships and memories made, will make a lasting impression.”
Please stay safe and continue to observe the social distancing guidelines. The RIIL will rely on the governor, department of health and the commissioner of education to guide us through this difficult time.
Thomas A. Mezzanotte
RI Interscholastic League
Per guidance from Governor Gina Raimondo and Rhode Island Department of Public Health to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, St. Mary Academy – Bay View's campus will be closed through Sunday, May 3, with academics moved to our Virtual Learning model.
During this time, as students and teachers conduct classes virtually, administration and staff are working from home and checking messages and email as normal.
- Bay View–Specific Questions and Information (as of 3/30/20)
- COVID-19 Information and Updates (as of 3/17/20)
- Social and Emotional Well-Being (as of 3/30/20)
- Health and Safety (as of 3/14/20)
- Athletics (as of 3/16/20)
Recent events—both the disruption to normal routines and the stress that comes from knowing there is a global pandemic—are especially challenging for our youngest students. Teachers are mindful of this and watching for any concerning comments or behaviors. If a Lower School student expresses—verbally or behaviorally—signs of distress, she will call the parent/guardian to share her concerns.
In the same way, our school counselors are deeply committed to supporting Middle and Upper School students’ social and emotional well-being through this period. You have probably seen some of the notices and fun videos they developed for the girls! They remain available for your daughters and want to make sure that you have all the information you need should you or they notice signs that your daughter may need support beyond what they are able to provide.
Protocol for Middle and Upper School students in crisis during school hours while in direct contact with their school counselor:
- If a student expresses suicidal ideation to her school counselor during a virtual meeting, the school counselor will stay with the student online and have the student get her parent/guardian so that both the student and school counselor can share concerns with the parent/guardian.
- If the student does not get her parent/guardian or if the parent/guardian is not with the student, the school counselor will call the parent/guardian.
- If the school counselor cannot get a hold of the parent/guardian, the school counselor is obligated to call the police for a welfare check (sometimes the police will bring a social worker if available).
Things to watch for in children of all ages:
- Feeling excessive anger or sadness
- Concerning changes to eating and/or sleeping patterns
- Lashing out at siblings, friends and adults
- Having behavior problems at home
- Having severe worries
- Hurting himself/herself or others
Here are additional resources you may find helpful:
- Suicide Prevention Lifeline 800-273-TALK or 800-SUICIDE
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals.
- NAMI Crisis Text Line 741741
If you need help, text NAMI to 741-741. The Crisis Text Line will respond 24/7/365. They will help you get through a difficult time. The Crisis Text Line is completely free.
- Girls & Boys Town National Hotline 800-448-3000
The Girls & Boys Town National Hotline is a free hotline available to kids, teens and young adults at any time.
- National Hopeline Network 800-442-HOPE (4673)
If you (or someone you know) are depressed and thinking about suicide, please call the National Hopeline Network to talk to a caring crisis hotline volunteer.
- National Youth Crisis Hotline 800-442-HOPE (4673)
Crisis Hotline Line is free, 24/7 support for those in crisis.
- Kids’ Link RI™ 855-543-5465
Kids’ Link RI™ is a service offering mental health help for kids. You can access Kids’ Link RI™ by phone or on their website.
Q: What is Bay View doing to prevent the spread of illnesses?
A: During the week of March 16 through 20, Bay View will undergo a deep clean of all buildings and facilities to augment our already robust sanitation practices, listed in more detail below.
Bay View follows best practices backed by science. Lower School nurse Marie Warren, R.N., and Middle and Upper School nurse Samantha Burns, R.N., are in constant contact with the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH), which works closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to share the most up-to-date, relevant information and guidelines. As with every cold and flu season, we follow RIDOH directives, outlined in their recent memo.
Our current infection-control procedures include:
- Every classroom and bathroom is sanitized each afternoon, including all hard surfaces and frequently touched items.
- Nap mats are sanitized every day after use, and student-provided nap bedding is sent home to be laundered each Friday.
- The libraries, common areas and other frequently touched surfaces throughout every building (like railings and doorknobs) are sanitized each evening.
- The cafeterias and nurses’ offices are thoroughly sanitized a minimum of twice each day, with frequently touched surfaces cleaned more often.
- Bay View–owned buses are sanitized daily, and we are in close contact with the state to ensure that state buses are as well.
- The Athletic Wellness Center and the Fitness Center are sanitized daily, as are faculty and staff common areas.
- Children in the Lower School are taken by teachers to wash hands frequently. They also use alcohol-based hand gel as needed throughout the day. Middle and Upper School students are reminded at regular intervals to wash hands and to use alcohol-based hand gel.
Q: What can we do?
A: The most important thing you can do is teach your daughter(s) effective infection control. RIDOH recommends:
- Following the March 13 mandate to close schools for a week, the Governor is recommending social distancing techniques to slow the spread of COVID-19.
- Get your flu shot and encourage the people around you to do the same.
- Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. If soap and water are not available, use alcohol-based hand gel.
- Cough or sneeze into your elbow. Flu is spread through coughing or sneezing on other people or into your hands. Cover your coughs and sneezes to prevent others from getting sick. Discard used tissues immediately in a bin lined with a bag. Dispose of the bag frequently and spray the bin with disinfectant.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids and eat nutritious foods.
- Keep surfaces (especially bedside tables, surfaces in the bathroom and toys for children) clean by wiping them down with a household disinfectant.
- Do not share lipsticks, lip gloss, Chapstick, eye makeup, eating utensils, toothbrushes, dishes, drinking glasses, water bottles, mouth guards, towels, bars of soap or bedding with others if you are sick.
Q: What should we do if our daughter(s) get sick?
A: The RIDOH recommends that you:
- Keep your daughter home from school if her temperature is greater than 100˚F.
- Keep her home until she is fever free (temperature under 100˚F) for 48 hours without fever-reducing medication like Tylenol.
We carefully monitor student symptoms and confirmed diagnoses, so please inform Mrs. Donahue (Middle and Upper Schools) or Ms. Thompson (Lower School) about the nature of your daughter’s illness when reporting she will be absent. As of Thursday, March 5, students no longer need a pediatrician's note to return to school.
If you are concerned about her symptoms, the CDC recommends contacting your health care professional.
Q: What about our upcoming travel plans?
A: April vacation is around the corner, and many of you may have travel plans. We ask you to complete this short survey to let us know if you have travel plans, domestically or internationally. We have no immediate plans to enact quarantine requirements, but we encourage you to follow closely the CDC travel restrictions that are currently in place. We are collecting this information pre-emptively so that we will be in a position to make informed decisions should Rhode Island experience an elevation of COVID-19 community transmission.
Q: Who can I speak to if I have more questions?
Q: How are team sports affected?
A: The same preventative measures listed above are reinforced to our scholar-athletes at practice and during games. On the guidance of RIDOH, we are also:
- Providing ample alcohol-based hand gel and CDC-approved sanitizing wipes at practices and games.
- Separating any students who do not feel well during a practice or game from other students.
- Eliminating any penalties for missing practice or games due to flu-like symptoms or fever.
- Sanitizing Bay View–owned buses daily.
- Sanitizing the Athletic Wellness Center and Fitness Center daily and all sports equipment after use.
We also ask that you:
- Keep your daughter home from practice/games if her temperature is greater than 100˚F.
- Keep her home until she is fever free (temperature under 100˚F) for 48 hours without fever-reducing medication like Tylenol.
Q: What if a practice or game is canceled? (UPDATED 3/16/20)
A: Per the Governor's mandate of March 16, all athletic activities (games, practices, meetings, etc.) are cancelled until further notice.
When a practice or game must be cancelled for any reason, we will use our normal channels of communication. If a coach should become ill, a practice or game may need to be cancelled the same day.
From the CDC
Q: Are children more susceptible to the virus that causes COVID-19 compared with the general population and how can infection be prevented?
A: No, there is no evidence that children are more susceptible. In fact, most confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported from China have occurred in adults. Infections in children have been reported, including in very young children. From limited information published from past Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) outbreaks, infection among children was relatively uncommon.
For information on risk, please see current risk assessment. Children should engage in usual preventive actions to avoid infection, including cleaning hands often using soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer, avoiding people who are sick, and staying up to date on vaccinations, including influenza vaccine. Additional information on prevention measures can be found here (Prevention for 2019 Novel Coronavirus).
Q: Does the clinical presentation of COVID-19 differ in children compared with adults?
A: Limited reports of children with COVID-19 in China have described cold-like symptoms, such as fever, runny nose, and cough. Gastrointestinal symptoms (vomiting and diarrhea) have been reported in at least one child with COVID-19. These limited reports suggest that children with confirmed COVID-19 have generally presented with mild symptoms, and though severe complications (acute respiratory distress syndrome, septic shock) have been reported, they appear to be uncommon. See more information on CDC Clinical Guidance for COVID-19.
Q: Are there any treatments available for children with COVID-19?
A: There are currently no antiviral drugs recommended or licensed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for COVID-19. Clinical management includes prompt implementation of recommended infection prevention and control measures in healthcare settings and supportive management of complications. See more information on CDC Clinical Guidance for COVID-19. Children and their family members should engage in usual preventive actions to prevent the spread of respiratory infections, including covering coughs, cleaning hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer, and staying up to date on vaccinations, including influenza. Additional information on prevention measures can be found here (Prevention for 2019 Novel Coronavirus).
- Four-Week Virtual Program to Improve Mental Well-Being (Mayo Clinic)
- Center for Resilience Daily Mindfulness Sessions (8 p.m. EST via Zoom)
- Family Life In the Age of the Coronavirus—Free Webinar (pepparent.org)
- How to Do Deep Breathing (YouTube)
- How to Talk to Your Kids About the Coronavirus
- How to Talk to Your Anxious Child About the Coronavirus
- Just for Kids: A Comic Exploring the New Coronavirus
- BrainPop Video for Young Children on Coronavirus
- RI Department of Health 24-Hour Hotline
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (COVID-19 Main Page)
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Cleaning and Disinfection Recommendations)
- World Health Organization
- Rhode Island Department of Health
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration
- Center for Biocide Chemistries’ COVID-19–Fighting Products List