Some Texas schools are being disinfected due to Ebola worries. The administrations felt this was one way to combat the virus as they watched workers sanitize various campuses, kept up with how many students were absent and listened to what was going on through the rumor circuit. In the 14 days since Thomas Eric Duncan was the first individual in the United States to be diagnosed with the disease, also infecting two nurses who took care of him before he passed away on Oct. 8 in Dallas, worries about the virus have swept across Texas and have moved into schools.
Several of the worries are necessary but others are mostly unproven. The student attendance at one Texas school in Dallas school fell considerably after parents were informed on Wednesday that a child had been put in volunteer isolation. The student’s father had been on the flight from Ohio to Texas with infected nurse Amber Vinson.
Absenteeism at the school went up 40 percent on Thursday, and nearly 30 percent of students were gone again on Friday. The Texas school explained it usually sees around a rate of 5 percent of students being absent on any specific day. The school did not shut down any buildings, but performed extensive cleanings on Wednesday night and then again on Thursday morning. One student’s father stated that it was a difficult decision to send his son to school, but keeping up communication with parents and performing cleaning efforts helped play a role in how he made his decision.
The school district is planning on making a specified education design for the quarantined student, using interactive technology so that the child can study and finish schoolwork to avoid falling behind schedule. The school is also attempting to work hard on dispelling rumors that exist in the community. When the administration is made aware of a new rumor, they are working to stop the gossip in its tracks. In following the school’s lead, other Dallas schools are also stepping up their efforts on cleaning.
It was also reported that in another district, another parent of a student was also reported to have been on the flight with Vinson when she came back from Cleveland. This caused that school to to also begin a high intensity of disinfecting, which started on Friday night.
At a third Texas school, it was reported that one of their secretaries was also on the flight from Cleveland with the infected nurse. This school arranged for an outside consultant to come in and perform what was known as a vapor ionization protocol. Every school in the area is routinely cleaned each night with chemicals that kill Ebola, HIV, influenza, MRSA and other viruses.
After thorough cleanings on Wednesday night and Thursday morning, the school made sure to have its doors open for parents on Friday so they could come in and look around see what they thought about the level of cleanliness. The parents that came in did seem to be somewhat relived at what the school was doing as far as sanitation.
By Kimberly Ruble
San Francisco Gate