Washington Township Health Department
Department of Public Works
43 Schooley's Mountain Road
Long Valley, NJ 07853
MRSA Considerations for Schools
Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus
- Is MRSA reportable?
- Single cases of MRSA are not reportable. However, if there is a cluster (2 or more non-household cases) of MRSA within a school, the Health Department should be contacted so it can determine if an outbreak might be occurring.
- Should infected students/employees be excluded from school?
- School should not be closed and classes should not be canceled. People who are infected are permitted to attend school/work as long as they are compliant with infection control measures. Skin infections should be kept clean and bandaged. Students who participate in contact sports may be excluded from participating if they cannot keep their wound properly bandaged.
If there are multiple confirmed cases of MRSA infections among members of a particular sport, and the sport team shares common equipment, that sports team may be closed down temporarily. These recommendations should be made in consultation with the local health department.
- Should schools notify parents if a student has a MRSA infection?
- The N.J. Department of Health & Senior Services does not require parent notification for isolated cases. However, if a school elects to notify parents, it should do so in coordination with the local Health Department.
- What can schools do to prevent MRSA infections?
- Provide students/parents with information about MRSA and preventive behaviors.
- Encourage frequent hand washing by students and employees.
- Encourage proper personal hygiene among students and employees such as showering after sports activities, wearing clean clothing, etc.
- Discourage the sharing of personal items such as clothing, towels, bar soap, sports equipment, etc.
- Ensure proper environmental cleaning with EPA approved disinfectants.
- Encourage staff and students to keep any wounds bandaged and to consult with their healthcare provider for evaluation of any suspicious skin lesions.
- Should any special soap be used for hand washing?
- Any kind of soap is fine for hand washing. It does not have to be antibacterial. Frequent hand washing is very important and the act of washing is more important than the type of soap.
- Should special laundry detergent be used?
- There is no need for special laundry detergent. Washing clothing in hot water with regular laundry detergent and drying in a hot air drier will kill the bacteria.
- Should special disinfectants be used?
- There is no need for special disinfectants. Use an EPA approved product and follow use instructions carefully.