Although several districts around the Permian Basin have closed due to flu, Ector County ISD doesn’t have any plans to do so at this time, Superintendent Tom Crowe said in an email.
Director of Nursing Services Laura Mathew said the majority of district’s 32,000-plus students are still coming to school.
“We’ve stepped up the cleaning, but we’re following the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) guidelines,” Mathew said. “They have specific guidelines about what schools should do during flu season. They specifically say schools do not need to close. They should step up the cleaning… For the most part, the flu virus is airborne. You could clean every surface, but tomorrow a child walks in with the flu, so you’re going to start all over again.”
Mathew said attendance is being monitored for influenza like illness.
The Centers for Disease Control website says:
- It is important to match your cleaning and disinfecting activities to the types of germs you want to remove or kill. Most studies have shown that the flu virus can live and potentially infect a person for up to 48 hours after being deposited on a surface. However, it is not necessary to close schools to clean or disinfect every surface in the building to slow the spread of flu. Also, if students and staff are dismissed because the school cannot function normally (e.g., high absenteeism during a flu outbreak), it is not necessary to do extra cleaning and disinfecting.
- Flu viruses are relatively fragile, so standard cleaning and disinfecting practices are sufficient to remove or kill them. Special cleaning and disinfecting processes, including wiping down walls and ceilings, frequently using room air deodorizers and fumigating, are not necessary or recommended. These processes can irritate eyes, noses, throats and skin; aggravate asthma; and cause other serious side effects.