PULASKI COUNTY, Ark. -- As cold and flu season continues, Pulaski County Special School District is taking steps to prevent the spread of illness. Good health habits like covering your mouth when coughing and washing your hands often can help stop the spread of germs and prevent respiratory illnesses like the flu.
According to the Arkansas Health Department, Arkansas is reporting “widespread” activity to the CDC for geographic spread of influenza. For the week ending January 25, 2020 there had been 420 positive flu tests. Additionally, the absenteeism rate due to flu related illness is in the 5-10% range statewide. So far, four schools/districts closed briefly due to the flu this season.
The highest number of absences in PCSSD is coming out of the Maumelle area this week (ending Friday, January 31). Therefore, PCSSD is taking steps to clean the schools of germs that could be the cause of these illnesses.
PCSSD recently invested in seven Clorox® Total 360® units to disinfect our school properties, including transportation areas. The district began the disinfection process in the Maumelle feeder zone due to high number of absences linked to illnesses. Maumelle High School and Maumelle Middle School were cleaned overnight on Thursday, January 30. On Friday, January 31 the south transportation complex will be cleaned. There are 31 buses from this complex that service the Maumelle feeder schools. The three elementary schools in Maumelle (Crystal Hill, Oak Grove and Pine Forest) wll be cleaned over the weekend.
Proper disinfection of high-touch surfaces is key to protecting against illness outbreaks that can result in a high level of absenteeism, interrupting student education. Bacteria and viruses that cause infectious illnesses, including colds and the flu, can survive on surfaces for days.
A recent study at Broken Arrow Public Schools found a positive impact from daily disinfection in a school environment by using the Clorox® Total 360® System in 2017 as a proactive measure to prevent outbreaks in its school district. The study found that after implementing the system daily throughout the 2018-19 school year, there was a reduction in bacteria to near zero, including on hard-to-clean surfaces like door handles.
Although illness is only one of many factors that can keep students from attending school, the impact of the environment on student and staff illness is controllable and can be minimized by regularly disinfecting school surfaces. However, traditional manual cleaning and disinfection methods, while important, are not always sufficient, as some objects and areas can be missed, particularly if those areas are difficult to clean or hard to reach. The Clorox® Total 360® System proved to statistically reduce levels of bacteria on all surfaces it treated.
To learn more about the Clorox® Total 360® System, please visit www.CloroxPro.com