Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) Precautions at Howell Public Schools 

Dear Families,


On Tuesday, September 17, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) issued a press release regarding the Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) cases in Southwest Michigan. While Livingston County was not included in this press release, Howell Public Schools did reach out to the Livingston County Health Department for guidance and recommendations regarding the EEE virus. According to the  Livingston County Health Department, “As of September 19, Livingston County has not had any suspected or confirmed cases of EEE in humans, horses or other animals such as deer or birds. However, we cannot conclude that infected mosquitoes capable of transmitting disease are not present. We strongly encourage residents to protect themselves and their loved ones from mosquito bites.”

 

After careful consideration, and with no suspected or confirmed cases of EEE in humans, horses or other animals such as deer or birds in our county, Howell Public Schools will maintain its current outdoor activities at this time. Some of the factors that contributed to this decision include:

  • Elementary recess takes place during the day when the risk is lowest.

  • Nearly all practices take place immediately after school during daylight hours.

  • Many outdoor athletic contests take place on hard surfaces or artificial turf fields, a factor known to prevent mosquitoes from breeding and thereby reducing the risk of contact.

  • For other activities that do take place at or after dusk, or in more natural areas (i.e. Cross Country and Golf), we encourage our students, coaches, and staff to follow the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the Livingston County Health Department recommendations to reduce their risk:

    • Apply insect repellents that contain the active ingredient DEET, or other U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-registered product to exposed skin or clothing, and always follow the manufacturer’s directions for use.

    • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors. Apply insect repellent to clothing to help prevent bites.

    • Maintain window and door screening to help keep mosquitoes outside.

    • Empty water from mosquito breeding sites around schools, businesses, and homes, such as buckets, unused kiddie pools, old tires or similar sites where mosquitoes may lay eggs.


Out of an abundance of caution, Howell Public Schools will be working with a licensed professional to apply a mosquito treatment to critical areas of the district. This will occur when students and staff are not present and in accordance with our Integrated Pest Management policy.

 

Howell Public Schools in partnership with the Livingston County Health Department will continue to closely monitor the outbreak of EEE in Michigan. The Livingston County Health Department will provide future updates as they receive them from the State Health Department. You can view the Center for Disease Control fact sheet about EEE at https://www.cdc.gov/easternequineencephalitis/gen/qa.html.


Sincerely,

Erin J. MacGregor

Superintendent

Howell Public Schools

Posted by gouldt On Fri, Sep 20, 2019 at 1:21 PM  

 
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