Obion County schools to be closed, disinfected
Obion County Director of Schools David Huss told The Messenger at mid-day Monday that school officials have had reports of staph infection in some of the schools and have received some confirmed reports of a strand of MRSA — Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, a type of bacteria that is resistant to certain antibiotics — in some schools, but not in all of them.
“Some haven’t had any,” he said.
As a precautionary measure, all of the county schools will be closed for the next two days so they can be disinfected “from top to bottom” to ensure the situation doesn’t escalate to a crisis situation, according to Huss.
The closing of the schools includes all after-school activities, practices, athletic activities and other events that would involve use of the school buildings.
“When after-school care is through today, all activities are canceled from then on until Thursday morning — no ball games tonight, no practices in Obion County schools until Thursday morning,” Huss said.
Tonight’s scheduled meeting of the Obion County School Board will still be held at Black Oak Elementary in Hornbeak at 7 p.m., but the portion of the meeting involving student recognition has been taken off the agenda. Huss said there has not been any staph infection reported at Black Oak.
The decision to close the schools and to disinfect was made about 10 a.m. Monday, resulting in school officials’ beginning the process of contacting principals and making plans for the cleanup.
Huss said the cleanup can be done by local school personnel and basically involves cleaning the entire school building — everywhere that students would have contact — with a solution of 10 parts water to one part bleach in order to kill any infection. This includes all desks, chairs, floors, walls, cafeterias, etc.
“We may have to work around the clock to do it,” he said.
Huss emphasized that the cleanup is strictly a precautionary measure to ensure that students and staff at all of the county’s schools have “a clean and healthy environment.” He said the presence of staph infection is not isolated to Obion County and said it is something being addressed across the state and across the nation.