In response to the potential increase in Eastern Equine Encephalitis disease carrying mosquitoes, Portland Public Schools is joining many other school districts in the region in limiting outdoor activities after dusk. The following precautions will be in place as of Wednesday, September 18, 2019 and will remain until the first hard frost.
- Athletic practices and all outside school activities will end by dusk.
- We are currently working with other districts in an attempt to move athletic competitions to earlier start times or weekends in response to this issue.
- Athletic competitions will not be required to end early if they run past dusk; however, all attempts will be made to move the competitions to earlier in the afternoon.
In addition, our students were scheduled to attend a field trip to Hammonassett Beach State Park tomorrow. Out of an abundance of caution, we are going to postpone the field trip until October 30th due to guidelines recently released by the Connecticut Department of Public Health. The language in the letter states, “The DPH advises against unnecessary trips into mosquito breeding grounds and marshes as the mosquitoes that transmit the EEE virus are associated with freshwater swamps and are most active at dusk and dawn.”
While no other field trips are being rescheduled at this time, future action may be necessary depending on weather conditions such as a hard frost in our region.
Chatham Health District is recommending that residents take the following steps to prevent diseases transmitted by mosquitos:
- Avoid outdoor activities during peak mosquito biting times -The hours from dusk to dawn
- Apply EPA registered insect repellents when outdoors.
- Cover up- (Wear long sleeves, long pants and socks when outdoors.)
- Drain standing water around your property (Mosquitos lay their eggs in standing water such as wading pools, clogged rain gutters and birdbaths.)
- Install and repair screens.
Thank you for understanding our response to the guidance from the Connecticut Department of Health.