With the 2009–10 school year now underway, school administrators throughout Sacramento County face many questions regarding the H1N1 flu virus and the best practices to follow when dealing with it. With that in mind, the Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) and the Sacramento County Public Health Division co-sponsored an H1N1 flu workshop and discussion on August 24.
The workshop was attended by nearly 60 people representing a wide range of public and private school administrators, health, school nurse, and emergency personnel.
"We must take the necessary precautions to ensure the health and safety of our students, families, and staff. Your presence here today is proof of your commitment to your school communities," said Sacramento County Superintendent of Schools David W. Gordon as he welcomed attendees.
The workshop featured a presentation on the latest H1N1 virus information from Sacramento County Health Officer Glennah Trochet, M.D. During her presentation, Dr. Trochet reminded attendees of the need to practice good hygiene. She also advised school administrators to send students, teachers and staff home if they are sick, and to separate ill students and staff from the general school population when possible.
"If you are able to exclude sick children from the school community that would be the key," said Dr. Trochet. "What we are telling you are our minimum recommendations but if you choose to do more that is your choice."
Dr. Trochet also requested when recording student absences that school personnel gather information from families to determine if those students missing school are experiencing flu-like symptoms.
The Sacramento County Public Health Division also announced that the health agency is utilizing various forms of communications and social media, including Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter, to inform the local community about the latest information regarding the H1N1 flu virus.
"We are trying to use all types of methods to communicate and get the word out," said Kerry Shearer, Public Health Division, Communications & Media Officer.
For the latest information on the H1N1 flu virus please visit the Sacramento County Public Health Division website.