By Erika Nichols-Frazer

The Harwood Unified Union School District (HUUSD) issued guidance on respiratory illnesses for the holidays this week.

“We anticipate respiratory illnesses will continue to spread among children and adults. These illnesses could include, but are not limited to flu, RSV, and COVID-19. We are asking that families provide updated consent to test children for COVID-19. Students and staff have access to rapid antigen testing and LAMP testing at school. COVID tests can be sent home with students and staff at the discretion of the school nurse. In the event your child develops symptoms at school, they can be tested at school with your consent. Please complete the following annual consent form for the school at which your child/children attend.” 





2022-23 COVID-19 Testing Parental Consent Forms 

Brookside CBMS Fayston

HUMHS Moretown  Waitsfield Warren

Our schools have also seen cases of Hand, Foot, Mouth Disease. This virus usually affects younger children, but anyone can get it. Symptoms may include fever, red spots on the tips of fingers and toes, with painful bumps on the mouth and throat. Students with draining blisters or pain when eating should stay home until symptoms have improved. Students with a fever should be fever free for 24 hours without medication prior to returning to school.




“Most children with RSV will recover with home care. Fever, cough, and congestion can be managed at home with fever-reducing medicines, gentle nasal suctioning, and humidification. Children should be seen by a medical provider if they have difficulty drinking and are dehydrated or if they have difficulty breathing with use of chest or neck muscles. Rare but serious symptoms in infants include gray or blue color to skin or lips or long pauses in breathing. Those infants should be seen by a medical provider immediately.”

Staying home while sick, masking and other measures can help keep others safe.

  • All persons with acute respiratory symptoms should stay home while ill, even if they have tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 and other etiologies.
  • The Vermont Health Department is recommending that all persons with respiratory symptoms wear a mask and practice social distancing when around others.
  • People may consider masking and social distancing when around young children or medically-vulnerable people.
  • All persons should cover their mouth using a tissue or bent arm—not their hand—when they cough or sneeze and should wash their hands frequently throughout the day.
  • Infants under the age of 6 months are most at risk for severe RSV disease. Families of young infants should be counseled to practice good hand hygiene. Types of contact that increase the risk of RSV transmission to infants include holding, kissing, or touching the hands or face of an infant. These types of contact should be limited to essential caregivers as much as possible during RSV season.




Good hand hygiene is essential:

  • 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.
  • Always wash your hands: after using the toilet, after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing, before and after caring for someone who is sick.”

Flu and COVID-19 vaccines are available at walk-in clinics in Berlin (58 East View Lane) on the following dates/times:


The letter said, “To our entire HUUSD community, we hope you have a happy, safe holiday, and we thank you for your efforts to reduce the spread of illness in our community.”