As we begin the 2022-23 school year, many students and families are concerned about the national outbreak of monkeypox and how it could affect schools.
On August 4, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declared monkeypox a public health emergency. Its symptoms include a blister-like rash, congestion, cough, sore throat, muscle aches, fatigue, fever, and swollen lymph nodes.
While monkeypox is a serious illness and we need to take precautions, it is important to note that it is different from COVID-19 in that it does not appear to spread nearly as easily. We know that it does spread through person-to-person physical contact and by coming into contact with items or surfaces that have been touched by an infected person’s rash.
To date, there have been few confirmed cases of monkeypox in children. However, please know that anyone can get monkeypox and it is a public health concern for all. It is not a disease experienced only by members of specific communities.
Here in the CHPS, many of the steps we are taking with COVID-19 will also help us prevent the potential spread of monkeypox. These include:
All students and staff will be asked to self-monitor for the symptoms of monkeypox. If they are feeling sick, they should stay home from school. If they are experiencing symptoms, they should consult a healthcare professional right away and notify the school office.
Students and staff will be frequently reminded about the importance of proper handwashing. No-touch hand sanitizer units will continue to be available throughout our buildings.
We will continue to clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces throughout our schools on a frequent basis.
If there is a confirmed case of monkeypox in your child’s school or classroom, we will notify families as soon as possible. Anyone who has the illness will be asked to stay home until they are no longer experiencing symptoms, per CDC guidelines.
Thank you for your support and understanding as we work to ensure a safe and healthy learning environment for our students and staff. If you have any questions, please contact the health aide or nurse at your child's school.