Coping with COVID-19 at school

By SPECIAL TO THE PRESS REGISTER,

 

The health of students is of primary concern to the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) and Mississippi schools and the following guidelines are designed to provide basic information and procedures regarding viruses in schools.

During the school year the MDE will continue to communicate with the MS State Department of Health (MSDH) to maintain a safe and healthy environment for your children.

As new information is made available, the MDE will update its guidelines, policy and procedure.

Parents are urged to stay in touch with teachers and administrators about updates and changes in policy and procedure

Personal protection

Basic infection control in school settings should always be promoted and maintained and parents are urged to help explain to their children the need to follow these basic guidelines.

• Hand hygiene - Students and staff should be encouraged to wash hands often with soap and water, especially after coughing and sneezing. If soap and water is unavailable, sanitizers may be used.

• Respiratory etiquette - MSDH and CDC recommend covering the nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing (or a shirt sleeve or elbow if no tissue is available) and throwing the tissue in the trash after use, followed by hand washing.

• Routine Cleaning - School staff should routinely clean areas that students and staff touch often with the cleaners they typically use. Cleaning should take place immediately if there is contamination of surfaces with blood, stool or vomit.

CDC recommends personal protective equipment as part of universal precautions when cleaning body fluid spills.

• Separate ill students and staff - Students and staff who seem to have flu symptoms should be separated from others until they can be sent home.

CDC recommends personal protective equipment as part of universal precautions when caring for infected individuals.

• Stay home when sick - Those with flu like symptoms, including respiratory symptoms, should stay home from work or school and seek medical attention if the symptoms get worse. This includes uncontrolled temperature, difficulty breathing, worsening headache, unusual muscle weakness or seizure activity. Remain home until fever has been gone for at least 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medications.

Get more details

The Mississippi State Department of Health is now operating a hotline for convenient answers to questions about COVID-19 by phone.

Mississippi Coronavirus Hotline: 877-978-6453. (8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday through Friday)

You may also share school safety concerns without sharing your name. Call toll-free to our Stay Safe Hotline at 1-866-960-6472. The call will be anonymous and the phone will be answered 24/7.

Report situations that may endanger people at your local school or school-sponsored activity

If you have an emergency, please make the call immediately.

 

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