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For Release: April 30, 2003


April 30, 2003

TO:

New Jersey School District Superintendents
Charter School Administrators
Private/Parochial School Administrators
Pre-School/Child Care Providers
Professional Educational Organization Members

FROM:

Dwight R. Pfennig, Ed.D.
Deputy Commissioner

SUBJECT:

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)

In light of the recent events in Asia, Canada, and the United States, and the "rumors" that accompany the outbreak of SARS, it is essential to provide information to all education community members regarding the accurate details of the characteristics and transmission of the disease. In so doing, the collaborative efforts of the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) and Department of Education (DOE) are designed to strengthen public awareness of SARS and provide sufficient information to create the most healthy school environment possible.

The attached letter signed by Eddy A. Bresnitz, M.D.,M.S., State Epidemiologist/Assistant Commissioner, is for distribution to all school community members. The letter clearly establishes guidelines for the management of student/parent/community concerns in schools while providing a factual framework regarding the disease.

Your distribution of the letter to students, parents and other members of the school community within 24 hours is greatly appreciated.

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