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November 2009 Update H1N1 and the Education Community. Hard Surface Cleaning. Flu viruses can survive on hard surfaces and can infect a person for up to 2 to 8 hours after being left on items like cafeteria tables, doorknobs, and desks.

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hard surface cleaning
Hard Surface Cleaning

Flu viruses can survive on hard surfaces and can infect a person for up to 2 to 8 hours after being left on items like cafeteria tables, doorknobs, and desks.

The American Academy of Pediatrics provides guidance for school cleaning and sanitizing during the flu season, which includes:

  • Use the cleaning agents and dilutions that are typical for the environment
  • Regularly clean areas and items that have frequent hand contact
  • Clean areas immediately when visibly soiled

Additionally, proper hygiene etiquette will help lower the spread of the flu.

For further information, consider:

EPA’s List of Cleaning Products for Flu

American Academy of Pediatrics’ Cleaning Guidance (pdf)

Flu.gov Hard Surface Cleaning Resources

HIN’s 2009 CLEAN Award winner, Pat Nicholson

school closings
School Closings

Decisions about school dismissal is left to local authorities

  • Local education authorities should be in close contact with local and state health departments to make these decisions.
  • School closure is not advised for a single suspected or confirmed case of H1N1 and is not advised unless absenteeism interferes with the school’s ability to function.

School closure should be based on local considerations, including:

  • Public concern
  • Impact of school absenteeism
  • Staffing shortages

Further information on school closure guidance includes:

  • A Communications Toolkit for K-12
  • A Communications Toolkit for Higher Education
  • Department of Education Guidance to Continue Learning (pdf)
  • CDC Guidance for K-12
  • CDC Guidance for Higher Education
  • School Dismissal Reporting
reduce the spread
Reduce the Spread

The primary means to reduce spread of influenza in schools are to:

  • Stay home when sick
  • Separate ill students and staff
  • Practice proper hygiene and respiratory etiquette
  • Exercise routine cleaning
  • Consideration of selective school dismissal

Further guidance for education communities include:

  • CDC Guidance for School Administrators
  • CDC Guidance for Higher Education
  • School Dismissal Reporting

View the NEA Today Express Special Edition on H1N1 for helpful articles and ideas.

  • HIN’s Policy Implications for Higher Ed. Article (pdf)
school located vaccines
School Located Vaccines

School-Located Vaccinations (SLV) are a key element to ensuring that youth, and those who work closely with them, are properly immunized.

SLV’s are:

  • Administered on school grounds
  • Target enrolled students and potentially others
  • Held before, during, and/or after school hours
  • Typically involve collaboration with public health departments

Further guidance on SLV’s include:

  • HIN’s SLV At-a-Glance (pdf)
  • CDC’s SLV Guidance