Good afternoon! Attached you will find a few press releases regarding the situation in West Michigan regarding Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE). As a school district we have been in consultation with our local health department and county school districts and will be altering our after school outdoor activities until further notice to lower exposure risk near dusk. (ie. change athletic/band start times for outdoor events). The health department has stated that the mosquito population will not decrease until the first frost/freeze in the area.
Schoolcraft Community Schools will maintain current outdoor activity schedules during the day. The factors contributing to this decision include the following:
- Elementary recess takes place during the day when the risk is lowest.
- Continue to have practices start after school. We will end all practices by 7 p.m. (athletics and band)
Below you will find a few items that you can assist in taking precautions at home:
o Apply insect repellent prior to spending time outdoors. If you choose to apply insect repellent to your elementary student, please do so prior to the start of the school day
o Wear long-sleeved shirts and pants when possible
o Be aware of the signs of EEE and contact your doctor immediately, should your student experience any symptoms
o Maintain window and door screens
o Use nets or fans over outdoor eating areas
Additionally, the District has been diligent to monitor playgrounds, athletic fields, and other property to eliminate any standing water that could encourage the breeding of mosquitoes.
We will continue to watch the developments surrounding EEE closely and will take the appropriate steps necessary to protect the health of all of our students, coaches and staff.
For more information about EEE, please connect with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (https://www.michigan.gov/mdhhs/) or the Kalamazoo County Health Department (https://www.kalcounty.com/hcs/).
Yours in Education,
Rusty Stitt, Ph.D.