Flu season has started and the best way to keep our students healthy is for all above six months of age to take the flu vaccine and take precautionary measures to prevent the spread of flu. The Health Authorities are still offering the flu vaccine free of charge from health centres. The flu virus is easily spread through coughs, sneezes, and by touching something with the virus on it and then touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Those in close proximity to one another on a regular basis, as in our schools, are more vulnerable to getting and spreading the flu virus.
The Standard practices outlined below will prevent many types of infectious diseases occurring in schools.
- Staff is encouraged to take the flu vaccine
- Staff with influenza-like illness (fever and chills with a cough or a sore throat, and (i.e. including) any of the following: headaches, runny nose, aches and pains, diarrhoea, vomiting and nausea) should stay at home pending their doctor’s certification
- Officers are encouraged to maintain good hygienic practices in order to avoid spreading influenza, such as to cover their nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing (or coughing or sneezing into their upper arm or sleeve if a tissue isn’t available), frequently washing hands with soap and water, or using alcohol wipes when soap and water are not available.
- Children are to avoid holding hands with each other as this can spread infections
- Access to adequate hand washing facilities is to be ensured; hand washing with soap is to be promoted and facilitated regularly; all cloth towels are no longer being recommended and disposable paper towels are to be provided Regular hand washing is the best way to rid any person of germs and alcohol gel or wipes should only be used when regular hand washing is not possible.
- Tissues are to be disposed of Since the influenza virus can survive temporarily outside the body, transmission can also occur from freshly contaminated objects, e.g., handkerchiefs, tissues or by hand to hand contact.
- Frequently-touched surfaces are to be cleaned regularly with detergents, as well as when they become visibly soiled
- Children who are sick are not to attend school
- Children who are sick during school need to be cohorted away from other children and parents are asked to pick up them up
Thank you in advance for helping this school year to be as healthy as possible.