LISD fighting to keep Norovirus out of classrooms - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

LISD fighting to keep Norovirus out of classrooms

Source: KCBD Video Source: KCBD Video
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) -

Right now, millions are facing Norovirus, a particularly miserable virus that is putting the flu to shame, with outbreaks happening across the country.

In one Chicago high school, more than one thousand students and teachers caught the virus in just a few days...while several schools in Rhode Island actually closed because of an outbreak there. So what are Lubbock schools doing to keep your kids safe?

The Norovirus hasn't hit the Hub City yet, but with more than 25,000 students in LISD, officials are still doing everything they can to keep that virus, and a variety of other illnesses, out of the classroom.

When it comes to Norovirus in Lubbock, school officials say while they are thankful it hasn't been seen here, they say they are not completely out of the woods.

"We're not seeing that right now. We're seeing strep, a little bit of flu, some GI….non-specific, and respiratory problems," says Paulett Rozneck, Coordinator for Student Health Services at LISD.

Rozneck says now is the prime time for illness, so LISD takes precautionary measures.

"The nurses go in the elementary classes. They're actually going into the classrooms and talking to the kids, showing them how to wash their hands, showing them how to cover their mouths when they cough into their sleeve," Rozneck says.

And then comes the fun part, the singing.

"They're used to singing Happy Birthday, and they get to sing it twice to make sure that they get in between their fingers, on top of the hands, and just constant friction with washing their hands, sing the song for two times, at a normal pace and then rinse real well, and dry completely, and that should take away the bugs that are on your hands."

In addition to those steps, LISD brings in resources from outside school walls through a company called Germblast.

"Our guys have several pieces of equipment that are very unique, that we utilize to perform our process, and so it does kind of look like the Ghostbusters... We utilize atomized alcohol vapor, we also utilize hydrogen peroxide dry mist, that's applied electrostatically, so it literally wraps around things to kill bacterial viruses, and then we'll use ultraviolet light if it's applicable, and then we'll finish off by putting a polymer in the environment that continues to kill bacteria for a period of time," says Rodney Madsen, an epidemiologist with Germblast

Madsen says the compounds in the products are safe to use around children.

"Everything that we do is non-toxic, it's USDA and NSF approved as being food grade...so it's completely non-toxic, and also approved by the EPA for food contact surfaces," says Madsen.

However, Rozneck says if your child does get sick, be sure and keep him or her at home.

"They need to be fever free for 24 hours....because that's a virus or bug that's going on and they need to keep their kids at home. So, a lot of sleep, drink a lot of fluids, wash your hands," Rozneck says.

We did check with Lubbock Cooper and Frenship ISD. Both tell us they are not aware of any cases of Norovirus within their districts.

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