Monkeypox Virus (MPV) Health and Safety Resources
The health and safety of students and staff in the Northshore School District is our top priority. As the Monkeypox virus, or MPV, spreads in Washington communities and nationally, it is important we work together to reduce the potential of exposure and infection.
Northshore School DIstrict will continue to work closely with Washington State Department of Health (DOH), Public Health - Seattle & King County, and the Snohomish Health District to safeguard our school communities from the spread of all infectious diseases including MPV.
What is MPV?
MPV is an infection that can cause a rash, appearing as bumps or blisters on the skin. MPV may also cause flu-like symptoms. The virus is rarely fatal but can be serious for those who have weakened immune systems, children, and pregnant people.
When do symptoms begin and how long do they last?
Monkeypox symptoms usually start within 3 weeks of exposure to the virus. The illness typically lasts 2-4 weeks.
How is MPV Spread?
According to the CDC and Public Health - Seattle & King County, MPV can spread from close, skin-to-skin contact between people. It can also spread through household items such as shared towels, clothing, or surfaces though this type of transmission is more rare. Anyone can get the virus. Additional details can be found on the CDC website.
How do you prevent MPV Infection?
The Washington State DOH recommends avoiding close or skin-to-skin contact with anyone who has open wounds, sores, or rashes, or anyone who is infected with MPV. Close contact can include but is not limited to hugging, cuddling, kissing, or sharing a bed or clothing.
If you have been exposed to MPV, it’s important to get vaccinated as soon as possible. This may prevent infection. Contact your health care provider or local health department for more information.
Please visit the Monkeypox DOH and Monkeypox Public Health- Seattle &King County webpages or the CDC for more information.
Confirmed Case of Monkeypox (MPV)
If there is a suspected case of Monkeypox at school, the student, staff member, or volunteer will isolate until they can go home. Every school has an identified space for isolating ill individuals. After the ill person leaves, the room and all related surfaces will be immediately cleaned and disinfected.
Returning to School and Work
The symptomatic person will be directed to test for Monkeypox and the District will work in partnership with Public Health to determine when they can return to school or work.
If you have Monkeypox, you are advised to stay at home (isolate) until your rash has healed and a new layer of skin has formed. Staying away from other people and not sharing things you have touched with others will help prevent the spread of Monkeypox. Monkeypox can also spread to animals, so staying away from pets is also important. To learn more visit the CDC.
If there is a confirmed case of Monkeypox in the Northshore School District, facilities staff will implement cleaning protocols in the affected classroom, work, and common spaces (e.g., bus, gym, classrooms, isolation room) in accordance with requirements and guidance from Public Health - Seattle & King County and Snohomish Health District.
Emergency Cleaning and Sanitation
Facilities will provide deep cleaning and disinfection of all classrooms and workspace high touch surfaces (i.e., desks, tables, door handles, light switches, pencil sharpeners, etc.) in the affected spaces using an approved EPA Registered disinfectant.
*Important note: Items that may be used as an oral sensory item, will not be left out for disinfecting. Disinfectants are not safe for ingestion, and are generally not approved for food contact surfaces. Oral sensory items can be washed with soap and warm water.
Cleaning or sanitizing required between uses of shared items in impacted areas will be determined by the Department of Health. All classrooms will be provided with disinfecting wipes approved by the EPA for effectiveness and low toxicity. Additional disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer will be made available in key administrative areas.
General cleaning including offices, lobbies, auditorium, gym, classrooms, locker room, health room, kitchen, and cafeteria, and stairwell occurs daily (5 days per week).