What the Clerc Center is doing to reduce the risk of H1N1 transmission
The Clerc Center's highest priority is the care and safety of all our community members. We are taking preventive action to reduce the risk of flu transmission. This website will be updated regularly with this information.
An important way to reduce the risk of getting the flu is by receiving the flu vaccine, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) encourage people to get both the seasonal flu vaccine and the H1N1 virus vaccine. The seasonal flu vaccine is available now, and the H1N1 vaccine will become available later this fall. While the seasonal flu vaccine will not cover the H1N1 virus, it is important to receive this vaccine—between 36,000 and 40,000 people die from the seasonal flu each year.
Those who are at higher risk for either flu are strongly recommended to receive both vaccines. Those at higher risk include:
- pregnant women
- people who live with and care for children younger than 6 months of age
- healthcare and emergency medical services personnel
- people between the ages of 6 months and 24 years (this includes most students attending institutions of higher education)
- people 25-64 years of age who have chronic health conditions (such as asthma, heart disease, or diabetes) or compromised immune systems
Preventive steps we are taking to reduce the risk of flu transmission include:
- Providing training for students, teachers, and staff members. Students, teachers, and staff members have received training that focuses onproper hand washing hygiene and taking proactive actions to avoid getting the flu.
- Providing cleaning supplies. We have set up hand sanitizer dispensers in public areas. Classrooms, offices, and other school spaces have been stocked with hand sanitizer and hand wipes. Students will be reminded to use hand wipes to clean desks and keyboards before using them as well as to clean their hands frequently.
- Keeping school buses clean. School buses used to transport KDES students to and from school are being cleaned after each morning run and each afternoon run. Hand sanitizer dispensers have been placed on each bus and students clean their hands every time they board a bus.
- Monitoring the health of community members. Teachers and staff members will be monitoring students daily, and students showing symptoms of illness will be sent to the school nurse. We are also encouraging families to be diligent about monitoring their children and keeping them home if they show symptoms of the flu.
- Enforcement of policies regarding sick students. To protect all community members, policies regarding sick students will be strictly enforced. As outlined in the KDES Parent-Student Handbook, page 22, KDES students who are sick will need to be picked up within one hour of the school nurse's call. Local students attending MSSD who are sick will need to be picked up immediately as well. Until sick children are picked up, they will be moved to a separate but supervised space. Sick MSSD students who live at great distances from the school will be moved to a separate, supervised space until they have recovered from the flu, based on health care guidelines.
- Tracking. We are monitoring flu cases in our community. We are asking families to inform us if their child has the flu when they call in sick for their children. We are also asking staff members and teachers to inform us if they have the flu when they call in sick.
- Information updates. We will continue to monitor the CDC website, the official government source of information regarding the flu. We will pass along important information to our community members and act on new information as appropriate.
Residential students at MSSD
As a residential program, MSSD serves students from across the country. Health care guidelines call for sick individuals to stay home to reduce the risk of spreading the flu, so a student from a distant state who gets the flu while he or she is at MSSD should not use public transportation to return home. If a sick MSSD student cannot be picked up, we will care for him or her in a separate, supervised space.