To: All Staff
Subject: Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA)
Because of recent media attention and at least one potential case among an Huerfano
Re-1 staff member, parents and staff may have questions and concerns about MRSA. We have received guidance through the Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment and have researched the Center for Disease Control web-site. Below is information to prevent MRSA in our schools. We will also post this information on our district web-site.
IT IS OF PARTICULAR IMPORTANCE THAT ALL STAFF ARE SUPPORTING AND ENFORCING THE REGULAR USE BY STUDENTS AND STAFF OF HAND SANITIZERS IN CLASSROOMS AND THROUGHOUT YOUR SCHOOL BUILDING.
Our school system already implements appropriate measures to prevent the spread of MRSA as recommended by the state and local health authorities. It is your responsibility to review the below-listed measures and make sure that they are understood by the appropriate staff at your school and are being consistently and properly implemented.
Disinfection and Cleaning in Schools
Huerfano Re-1 uses products that are recommended for cleaning and disinfecting restrooms, cafeteria tables, and athletic spaces and that prevent the growth of these bacteria.
Principals should review cleaning procedures with their custodians and athletic coaches.
- Restrooms and athletic spaces should be cleaned daily using a quality disinfectant.
- Restroom fixtures and all horizontal surfaces should be cleaned daily.
- Custodians should also be reminded that the disinfectant must dwell on the surface 10 minutes to be effective against bacteria and viruses. Surfaces should be sprayed or wetted with the disinfectant and then be allowed to air dry to provide sufficient time to kill viruses and bacteria.
- Athletic and PE spaces should be cleaned daily with the disinfectant cleaner. This includes locker room floors, showers, restrooms, and benches.
- The exterior of lockers and locker room walls should be cleaned weekly.
- Weight room equipment should be cleaned with the disinfectant daily and wiped down after each use.
- Wrestling mats should be cleaned and disinfected before and after each practice and daily when being used for PE classes.
- In athletics, mats, benches or other shared athletic equipment that might have skin contact should be disinfected after each game or practice.
Athletic Director and Coaches
- Coaches should make sure that ALL student athletes are taking home practice gear regularly to be washed. Sweaty, dirty clothing in a dark locker is the perfect place for bacteria to grow.
- Student athletes should shower immediately after practice/games at school or at home using an antibacterial soap such as Dial or Lifeguard.
- Athletes are not to share equipment, uniforms, towels, bars of soap, or water bottles.
- Cuts and abrasions should be covered during competition by the athletic trainer.
- Notify parents and Athletic Trainer about any skin sores and have them evaluated before returning to competition.
- Observe children for open wounds. If the wound is uncovered provide a Band-Aid or refer the child to the office. If a wound is draining or contains pus, refer the child to the school health nurse.
- Encourage hand washing before eating and after toileting and use of the classroom hand sanitizer.
- If a parent tells you their child has MRSA or a skin infection, let the principal know this.
- Clean and cover all open wounds.
- The parent should be advised to call their physician for any wound that is red, inflamed, swollen, purulent, or draining.
- When students come to the nurse, they should be encouraged to practice good hand washing and use of hand sanitizers.
- If a parent informs the nurse that their child has MRSA, they should be notified that a doctor should be notified.
Thank you all for your continuing vigilance in this aspect of our school operation. Parents and staff should feel reassured that we have had these measures in place and are taking sound health and hygiene practices seriously in all of our schools.