Precautionary Measures

Cold and Flu Season Precautionary Measures
Posted on 10/27/2022
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Health officials are reporting concerns related to the spread of RSV, cold and flu, and coronavirus as the winter months approach. Help reduce the potential spread of these health concerns as we work closely with the Dallas County Department of Health and Human Services to monitor trends related to such illnesses in the community. 

RSV, cold and flu, and coronavirus can spread easily from person to person, and we need the assistance of staff and parents to help reduce this possible spread. It is important to take the following precautions to help ensure the health of our community:

  • Check for signs of illness every morning. (i.e., Fatigue, fever, sweating, cough, sore throat, headache.)

  • Do not come to school or work if sick. Symptoms usually include fever, cough or sore throat, and sometimes runny nose, body aches, headache, vomiting, or diarrhea.  Those with symptoms should not return to school or work until they no longer have a fever for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications or in the case of coronavirus, have tested negative.

  • Wash hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water or regular use of hand sanitizer is one of the most important steps you can take to stay healthy. Continue to teach children to cover their cough with their elbow or sleeve, and to wash their hands before and after touching their face.

  • Utilize appropriate cough and sneeze etiquette by coughing into the upper sleeve or using tissue and disposing of it properly.

  • Consider the use of masks. While DeSoto ISD no longer enforces a mask mandate, health officials encourage continued use of masks during the heightened cold and flu season.

  • Practice social distancing when possible in high-capacity indoor spaces and gatherings.

  • Consider a flu shot and/or COVID vaccine or booster to be proactive in protecting one’s health. Also consider the addition of recommended vitamins like C, D, Zinc, and Elderberry to assist in supporting immune health.

  • Re: Students: Please notify the school if your child is absent by 10 am on the day of the absence, and share your child’s symptoms with the school.

  • Re: Staff: Please notify your supervisor of the concern and potential absence as soon as possible and enter any necessary time off in the appropriate system. Please note, DeSoto ISD no longer provides COVID leave. Leave for COVID or other health-related concerns will be attributed to employees’ personal time off.

Dallas County Health officials recommend the following additional precautions:

  • Recognize whether you or any household member is at high risk for severe illness from RSV. cold and flu, or coronavirus. People at higher risk for complications include children under the age of five years, pregnant women, people of any age who have chronic medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, cancer, or heart disease), and people aged 65 years and older. If any high-risk person or their household members become sick with flu-like symptoms, please contact your doctor as soon as possible to ask for advice about antiviral medications. 

  • Get all healthy household members vaccinated.

It is important to note that DeSoto ISD has trained medical staff at each campus with protocols in place to handle communicable illnesses common to school districts like influenza (flu), pertussis (whooping cough), strep throat, head lice, and more. 

Additionally, DeSoto ISD has a standard practice of maintaining a clean school environment. As is customary in school districts during flu season and as has been recommended by the Centers for Disease Control, we make it a point to frequently clean and sanitize our schools and classrooms regularly throughout the school day and each night during routine cleaning practices.

Student and staff safety is our top priority. We will continue to monitor the CDC and DSHS for additional information and guidance and will share information with you regarding any updates.