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Schools Watch Flu Season

HOPE – Sniffles turn to a cold or the flu as winter lingers across Southwest Arkansas making some common-sense precautions necessary in and out of class for Hope Public Schools students.

HPS Superintendent Dr. Bobby Hart reminds both students and parents the practice of cold and flu prevention is a courtesy to classmates and other families.

“The flu season is not past us, and washing hands, airborne precautions, and other methods help reduce the likelihood of transmission of the flu and any other airborne virus,” Dr. Hart said.

Hart said the HPS has received guidance information from the Arkansas Department of Health regarding viral disease contagion, including the so-called coronavirus, which is transmitted much like the flu.

“This transmission is much like other respiratory viruses, such as influenza,” the ADH guidance notes. “The illness caused by this virus can range from mild to severe, and the most common symptoms are typically fever, cough, and shortness of breath.”

ADH said the current risk to Arkansans of coronavirus contagion is considered low.

Guidance offered by ABM, the facilities maintenance contractor for the HPS, refers to Centers for Disease Control and federal Occupational Safety and Hazard Administration information which does not recommend more than standard procedures at this time.

“Further, according to OSHA, there is typically no need to perform special cleaning or decontamination of work environments when a person suspected ot having a virus has been present, unless those environments are visibly contaminated with blood or other bodily fluids,” ABM’s guidance said.

Students should remember while in school to use hand sanitizer, wash hands before eating, cover mouth and nasal passages when sneezing or coughing, and do not share water bottles or other drink containers.

All HPS students, faculty and employees are also eligible to receive medical attention at the Bobcat Clinic on the Hope High School campus, but must register for services. Contact Gretchen Carlton, school based clinic coordinator, at 870-722-2733 during school hours.

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