Health

Measles outbreak in Minnesota


Minnesota Department of Health
 
Good Afternoon,
Thank you all for your commitment to the health of all Minnesota students. We are continuing to work diligently to limit the impacts of the measles outbreak we are experiencing. We are grateful for your support in the necessary public health efforts. Please continue to follow the Minnesota Department of Health Measles page for the most up to date information. This page is updated Monday through Friday at 1:00 PM.
Following last week’s recommendation that school nurses connect with their families who are not immunized, we received many requests for a sample letter to use in that effort. Attached you will find an idea to help you get started. This letter is not required for districts to send, it is also not intended as legal advice or direction. Please follow your processes for review with your administration and/or legal team. It is important that all letters follow the immunization mailing guidance we sent last month as a reminder.
Many districts are sending letters to their entire student body at this time. The MDH Measles page is an excellent site to direct the public to and on their page are Measles Fact Sheets in multiple languages that may be helpful as you provide education to families.
We have also received a lot of questions regarding student attendance and homebound instruction. Ruth Ellen Luehr at Minnesota Department of Education is available to assist you with these questions. She can be reached at ruthellen.luehr@state.mn.us
Please don’t hesitate to call or email if you have questions that we can assist you with.
Sincerely,
Erika Yoney, LSN, PHN, RN
HEALTH

Health and safety of students and staff at Truman Public Schools is a priority.  While no environment can be free from potential infection or hazards, our staff places high importance on maintaining a healthy place for our students, staff and visitors.

One of the best ways to keep children healthy is encouraging children who are ill to stay home.  It is suggested that a child remain out of school for 24 hours following an episode of vomiting/diarrhea or having a temperature of over 100 degrees (or whatever is over one degree of normal for the child.)  We actively encourage good hand hygiene and learning to cover a cough or sneeze in an appropriate way.  Our custodial staff is well versed in keeping our building as clean as possible with removal of any potentially hazardous materials or conditions.

Our school lunch program follows federal guidelines for nutritious meals at school.  Soda and candy are not available for student purchase, and we ask that snacks brought from home meet nutritional guidelines as “healthy”.  Treats for birthday parties or special events must have been prepared and packaged in licensed environment.

 Each fall students in K-6 and grades 8 and 10 are included in vision and hearing screening provided by a team of trained technicians.  This includes screening for visual acuity, muscle balance, color vision (in grade one) and pure tone audiometric screening for hearing.  In grades four and five scoliosis screening is done for both boys and girls.  Children having difficulty with initial screening are rescreened several weeks later and referrals made to parents if needed. 

State immunization requirements are in place.  This helps provide lower risk for communicable disease spread among our students.  Flu vaccine clinics will be offered in the fall of 2015 free of charge for all students.  In the event of an outbreak such as measles, parents of children who have a conscientious objection to the vaccine will be reminded of the potential risk.

Jane Kotewa, Licensed School Nurse, is available for consultation as part of our contract with Southern Plains Education Cooperative and serves on our Student Support Team.