The following letter was sent from The White Mountain School’s Head of School John Drew to members of the School community via email on the morning of Thursday, January 30, 2020.
Dear White Mountain Community,
I’m writing today to provide an update on the international student who has been in medical quarantine at Littleton Regional Healthcare (LRH) for possible novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) since Thursday of last week. Since that time, we have been working closely with the New Hampshire Division of Public Health Services (DPHS) and LRH to understand and ensure adherence to the experts’ recommended protocols and guidance, taking great care to respect the privacy of our student and the student’s family every step of the way.
We are pleased to share that DPHS has informed us that the test results were negative for the 2019-nCoV. The DPHS press release can be found here.
While no other students or employees at White Mountain have reported symptoms associated with the 2019-nCoV, our Health Services staff continues to follow and promote all DPHS and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines related to hygiene and prevention of the transmission of disease.
We are most appreciative of our student for taking precautionary and immediate steps upon recognizing and reporting cold-like symptoms, steps this student and the student’s family took out of concern for our students and the broader community. In addition, we are incredibly grateful for the swift guidance and assistance of the DPHS team and the care of the LRH medical professionals.
We are aware that media and other parties are interested in our student, and the media may try to contact members of the community for the student’s contact information or other details. Please help us continue to respect the student’s privacy by not identifying or sharing that information, including on social media.
School administrators will continue to carefully monitor the developing situation around the 2019-nCoV, both internationally and domestically. We will also work with international students and families who may have concerns about or decide not to travel home for spring break in March. If 2019-nCoV or any other infectious disease impacts our School at some point in the future, we have a number of procedures in place to identify affected students, minimize transmission, and ensure the health and safety of both the School and the local community.
Since sharing the news about our quarantined student, I have received an outpouring of support from many members of the White Mountain community. This is not surprising and is one more example of how our community comes together to support one another. From offers to house students, if needed, to sentiments of concern for our student during his many days living in uncertainty far from home, our families have proven once again that our School community is like no other. Thank you.
As always, if you have any questions or concerns not addressed in this letter, please do not hesitate to contact Corah Edwards RN P’20, our director of health services, or me.
John A. Drew
Head of School
Founded in 1886 and set in the beautiful White Mountains of northern New Hampshire, The White Mountain School is a coeducational college-preparatory boarding and day school for 135 students grades 9-12/PG. Our mission is to be a school of inquiry and engagement. Grounded in an Episcopal heritage, White Mountain prepares and inspires students to lead lives of curiosity, courage, and compassion.