ANN ARBOR – Ann Arbor Public Schools issued a health advisory Thursday as many of its schools are experiencing an increase in illnesses among staff and students.
In an email to the school community, AAPS Superintendent Jeanice Swift and Student and School Health Executive Director Jenna Bacolor shared that absenteeism among students and staff has increased as a result.
The news comes on the same day Burns Park Primary School was closed due to high staff sickness rates.
Swift and Bacolor said reported illnesses include COVID, colds, flu and other communicable diseases.
They advised students, their families and staff to take the following precautions:
Monitor yourself or your child for any signs of illness, such as cough, sore throat, wheezing, fever and fatigue.
Stay home if you are sick.
No matter what the illness is, the child should not return to school until they have been free of fever, vomiting and diarrhea for at least 24 hours. Use your best judgment if they are fever-free but experiencing symptoms that make it difficult to engage in school.
Students and staff are strongly advised to wear a mask in school, especially in schools where parents have been notified that their student’s classroom or building is experiencing high levels of illness.
Please let the school office know why your child is sick and any specific diagnoses to help us track what is circulating in our school community.
“Our primary goal is to maintain sufficient staffing and district operations to protect and preserve school learning every possible day and to enjoy a healthy holiday break,” Swift and Bacolor wrote.
Within AAPS schools, they said several steps are being taken to prevent the transmission of communicable diseases, including close disease monitoring at both the building and district level, increased indoor air ventilation in buildings, communication with families when disease in a student’s classroom or school building reaches 20.%, thorough cleaning and disinfection of classrooms and schools where cases are reported and regular consultation with the Washtenaw County Health Department.
They urged families to stay up-to-date on flu and COVID vaccines and take daily preventive measures such as washing hands and using hand sanitizer frequently, avoiding touching the nose, mouth and eyes, avoiding contact with individuals sick, being physically active, drinking alcohol. plenty of fluids and eating a healthy diet and getting plenty of rest.
Ann Arbor Public Schools winter break dates are Dec. 23-Jan. 6.
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