Information from Bulloch County Schools
Influenza (Flu) season is underway. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) being vaccinated is still the best way to prevent the flu. These are facts and tips to help you and your family know more and help protect yourselves.
We help prevent the spread of the flu virus
Bulloch County Schools partners annually with the Department of Public Health to provide flu vaccine clinics at each school. All of our schools have sent home permission slips and flu prevention tips to all parents and guardians. Please be sure to complete the form and return it to your school. The vaccines are administered by Bulloch County Health Department personnel. Last year we received parent permission to vaccinate only 466 students.
Watch and listen for communication from your school for their flu vaccination dates. Please let your child be vaccinated by Health Department personnel when they visit your child’s school or visit the Bulloch County Health Department or your primary care physician.
Bulloch County Schools also partners with local pharmacies to provide a series of flu shot clinics for all of its employees and their spouses too.
School registered nurses are a first line of medical care
Each school has a trained registered nurse on staff. For many children, these registered nurses are the first line of medical care. At each school, nurses see an average of 75 students and employees per day for a variety of medical needs, and they help manage the care of students with diagnosed conditions like diabetes, cystic fibrosis, and asthma. They oversee on-site care and medicines which need to be dispensed at school and help teach children about their medical conditions. They conduct hearing and vision tests for children who may not have received this care from a pediatrician or health department. School nurses teach CPR to school staff, and they are part of the certified emergency response team at every school. School nurses also provide everyday prevention education and materials to faculty and students.
School district nurses contact parents and send a child home if he or she has a temperature of 100 degrees with symptoms of coughing, sore throat, and malaise. If a child is sent home with a fever, the school nurse informs the parent that the child should not return to school until 24 hours after fever is gone without the use of any fever-reducing medication.
School custodians help maintain healthy schools year-round
School custodian teams manage the cleanliness of each school. The schools are inspected monthly during scheduled and random visits by the district’s warehouse and custodial services coordinator. Schools receive a cleanliness grade using a rubric based on standards developed by the International Sanitary Supply Association and the Cleaning Industry Research Institute. We review the results with each school’s head custodian and offer suggestions to improve problem areas.
Flu viruses are relatively fragile, so standard practices, such as cleaning with soap and water, can help remove and kill the virus. According to the Department of Public Health, the flu virus can live and potentially infect a person for only two to eight hours after being deposited on a surface. Therefore, special sanitizing processes beyond routine cleaning, including closing schools to clean every surface in the building, are not necessary or recommended to slow the spread of flu, even during a flu outbreak. The school district provides antibacterial soap dispensers in all of its facilities.
Will Schools Close Due to an Illness Outbreak?
Bulloch County Schools maintains contact with both the local Department of Public Health and the Bulloch County Emergency Management Agency about local safety and health conditions. Any recommendation or order to close schools due to an epidemic or a threatened epidemic would come from the Centers for Disease Control, the local health department or the Bulloch County Emergency Management Agency.
What You Can Do to Help?
- Get the flu vaccine.
- Teach your children to wash their hands often with soap and water.
- Teach your children not to share personal items like drinks, food or unwashed utensils, and to cover their coughs and sneezes with tissues.
- Know the signs and symptoms of the flu. Fever (100 degrees), cough, sore throat, a runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, and feeling very tired. Some people may also have vomiting and/or diarrhea.
- Don’t send children to school if they are sick. Any children who are sick at school will be sent home. Staying home when sick will allow your children to rest and allows you to monitor their health closely. Keeping your sick child home is the responsible thing to do.
It protects fellow students and school staff, especially those who are at higher risk of severe illness due to medical conditions or medications that weaken their immune systems.
- Keep your child home until at least 24 hours with no fever without the aid of fever reducers and seek medical care.