School districts must work smarter and faster than flu virus


AUSTIN (KXAN) — As the state deals with widespread flu and other viruses, school districts are stepping up their deep cleaning efforts.

Inside West Cypress Hills Elementary School in Spicewood 5th grade teacher Lindsy Trapani is covering reading, social studies and germs. 

“Every time they come in the room they’re supposed to wash their hands or use hand sanitizer,” explained Trapani. “They wipe down their desks everyday with Clorox wipes.”

Lake Travis ISD has stepped up their cleaning efforts at all campuses in the last few weeks.

“We are going as far as the playground equipment a couple times a week,” said Chris Weller with SSC Services for Education, which works with Lake Travis ISD. “We are providing a little bit more dispensers out in the hallway for the kids to utilize. Crews are also spraying carpets where students gather with disinfectant.”

Just last month, Lago Vista and McDade ISD closed down schools for two days because of influenza-related absences. Bailey Middle School in Austin also reported nearly 300 absences and an urgent custodial disinfection of school spaces.

Leander Independent School District says it’s been preparing since October. Crews are disinfecting door knobs, water fountains, desks and chairs. 

“We are in communication directly with the district nurse and we get a call daily on the schools that may be affected,” said Federico Collazo with the LISD. “(We) may see a trend due to the absences… we can pinpoint directly to a school to a classroom.”

Crews with LISD even worked weekends to make sure campuses were ready. The districts say the stepped up cleaning will continue until flu season is over.

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