How DCPS is Handling the Flu
Steps to Reduce the Spread of Flu in DC Public Schools
We are taking steps to reduce the spread of flu in DC Public Schools by following the guidance provided by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the DC Department of Health, and our citywide plan. We want to keep the schools open, and students learning during this flu season.
We are working closely with the Mayor’s Office and the DC Department of Health to monitor flu conditions and make decisions about the best steps to take concerning our schools.
We will continue to update you with new information through this page and through your child’s school. If you are a parent it is important to make sure you provide up to date contact information to your child’s school in case you need to be contacted.
How Parents and Others Can Prevent the Spread of Flu
Flu can easily spread from person to person. Here are several ways in which you can help to prevent the spread of flu!
- Know the signs and symptoms of the flu.
Symptoms of the flu include fever (100 degrees Fahrenheit/37.8 degrees Celsius or greater), cough, sore throat, a runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, and feeling very tired. Some people may also vomit or have diarrhea.
- Stay home if you are sick.
DCPS and DOH recommend that students or staff with flu-like symptoms stay at home for at least 24 hours after they no longer have fever or do not have signs of fever, without using fever-reducing drugs. Staying at home with a fever will reduce the number of people who may get infected. Students who are sick should not participate in any school activity, in school after care, or in the community except to seek medical care. Any children who show symptoms of flu while at school will be sent home.
- Cover your cough and wash your hands.
In order to protect yourself and others it is important to practice healthy hygiene habits. Some of these include covering your coughs and sneezes with tissues (and disposing of them properly) or with elbows when tissue is unavailable and avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth to prevent spreading germs. You should wash your hands often with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub. You should never share personal items like drinks, food or unwashed utensils.
- Get vaccinated.
Getting vaccinated is the best way to reduce the risk of getting the flu. This year’s flu vaccine will protect against several different strains of flu including H3N2, an influenza B virus, and the 2009 H1N1 virus.