Schools Getting Tough On Flu Germs
Now that students are back in school and the nation is seeing more and more cases of H1N1 virus (swine flu), more school districts are getting tough on germs. The Jersey City School District is taking strong proactive measures to fight the spread of the disease. By November, there will be hand sanitizers in every cllassroom, all 3,000 of them! Superintendent Dr. Charles Epps says that all students will be “washing their hands as many times as they can. That’s our preventative method to ensure to the parents and the community and to the students that our children are safe health wise.” He emphasizes, “This is the best way to keep them safe.”
The superintendent says that all students will be required to sanitize their hands when:
- They walk into class in the morning
- Before lunch
- After lunch
- After each trip to the restroom
The hand sanitizing at these intervals will be monitored by teachers. Students will also be receiving more information on the prevention of flu in their health classes. School maintenance workers will increase their cleaning measures and sanitizing of door handles, desk surfaces, cafeteria tables, computer keyboards, and other areas that are often touched.
Teachers will continue to educate students on:
- Covering mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing with a tissue
- How to cough or sneeze into your sleeve if tissue is not available
- Proper disposal of used tissues
- Good Hand Washing techniques
- The importance of staying home if ill.
Dr. Epps says, “:I think this program is going to encourage students to go out and buy their own hand sanitizers and put them in their purses or pockets.”
The cost to the school district will be about $100,000 but everyone agrees that this is money well spent. Parent, Sherra Roberts says, “It’s a great thing. It’s just something that should have been done years ago.” High school student, Sapphire Howell, asked if she will follow the new rules, responded, “Yes, I will. I think you’re only being clean and protective.”
In Ohio, the Ohio County Schools Superintendent, George Krells, says hand sanitizers are in place and students are being encouraged to use them frequently. “We want them to get into the habit of doing it”, he says.” His schools are sending home educational material on the H1N1 flu as well as instructions to keep children home when ill. They will also receive instructions on when they can send their child back to school after being ill.
Maintenance is being stepped up in all schools and many high school libraries and computer labs have alcohol wipes or sanitary wipes. Students are encouraged to wipe off shared computer boards and mice as well as phone handles. Wetzel County, Ohio School Superintendent says “we’re trying to be smart about it”, referring to the district’s proactive stance against the flu. His district is urging parents to have their children immunized against the seasonal flu now and swine flu when a vaccine is available. This district is sending home immunization information as well as other flu materials. Parents are being asked to teach their youngsters the importance of good hand washing in prevention of the flu.