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Important Health Awareness Information
The Douglas County School System (DCSS) recognizes the importance of protecting the health and welfare of students and staff in our district from the spread of illness. At this time there is increased concern regarding two viruses, enterovirus (EV_D68) and Ebola.
School system staff is staying informed on illnesses that might be especially harmful to children as well as adults in our community. Georgia is one of the states that have been experiencing an outbreak of enterovirus (EV_D68), a severe respiratory illness that is especially harmful to children. Concerns are also being raised across the country and the world about the Ebola virus.
Almost all of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-confirmed cases this year of EV-D68 infection have been among children. Many of the children had asthma or a history of wheezing. Many parents continue to be worried about the outbreak and want information about what they can do to prevent illness and protect themselves and their families. The CDC has developed information and resources for parents about EV-D68. DCSS is providing this information to address parents’ questions and concerns and make them aware that these resources are available.
Below are the CDC resources about EV-D68 developed for parents:
Web Feature, “What Parents Need to Know About Enterovirus D68”
Drop-in newsletter article (matte article), “Parents: Learn the Facts about Enterovirus D68”
Fact sheet for parents, “What Parents Need to Know about Enterovirus D68”
General questions and answers for the public
Infographic: Keep Your Child from Getting and Spreading Enterovirus D68
Finally, we know communities have questions about what schools can do to keep students and adults safe from the Ebola virus.
As you know, national and international health authorities are working to control an ongoing outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in several countries in West Africa as well as two recent cases in Texas. It is therefore critical that the following guidance and recommendations be provided at this time.
(1) Be aware of students and their families, staff and community members who have traveled to Ebola‐affected West African countries, including Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea within the previous 21 days.
(2) Know the signs and symptoms of Ebola, which may appear anywhere from 2 to 21 days after exposure to Ebola and include:
Fever greater than 101.5°F
Unexplained, unusual bleeding or bruising
Click HERE for more information about trasmission, risks, symptoms and precautions for travelers from the Georgia Department of Health.
If you encounter individuals who you believe meet the case definition described in (1) and (2) or (3), immediately separate the individual from contact with others and report it to the Department of Public Health at 1‐866‐PUB‐HLTH or the DPH Epidemiology section at 404‐657‐2588.
The CDC is continually updating its information on Ebola, information that can be found here: http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/index.html.
WSB-TV provided information on their Facebook page that allows people to compare symptoms of Flu, Enterovirus and Ebola. Click here to view the graphic:
Update on Stop Arm Camera Implementation
In January, 2014 the Douglas County School System implemented their partnership with American Traffic Solutions to begin use of stop arm cameras on buses to address the growing problem of illegal passing of school buses. In the 128 school days since then there have been 275 citations issued. That’s an average of 2.15 citations per day. In addition, a recent survey of all Douglas County bus drivers on a single day netted 63 reports of violations.
Vehicles are not consistently protecting the safety of students and continue to illegally pass school buses. This is a national problem that was featured on ABC News yesterday (October 16) and will be covered by other national media as an escalating problem. Click the link to see ABC’s coverage of the danger to students: http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/video/technology-catches-drivers-stop-school-buses-26227763
“Drivers must approach school buses with a keen awareness of safety for our children as they are picked up and dropped off,” said Douglas County Superintendent Dr. Gordon Pritz. “We are increasingly concerned about the illegal passing of our buses. Keeping our children safe is our number one priority. Our goal is to educate drivers about the Georgia School Bus Stop laws that protect the lives of the children who ride Douglas County school buses every day.”
“Please remember that if you come upon a stopped school bus with its red lights flashing while you are going in either direction and are unsure what to do, it is best to play it safe and stop until the red lights are turned off and the bus begins moving,” Pritz continued
Douglas County school buses use CrossingGuard®, the trade name of the school bus arm safety solution that mounts purpose-built cameras on the side of the school bus. When the stop arm is deployed, the camera automatically detects a vehicle illegally passing the stop arm in either direction and captures video of the violation and still images of a vehicle‘s license plate.
The violation video and license plate images are then reviewed by the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office for approval prior to a citation being issued. In Georgia, the penalty for a first stop-arm violation will warrant the vehicle’s owner a $300 fine, a $750 fine levied for the second offense, and a third violation in a five-year period will result in a $1,000 fine.