Information and Advice about MRSA for:
The decision to close a school for any communicable disease should be made by school officials in consultation with local and/or state public health officials. However, in most cases, it is not necessary to close schools because of an MRSA infection in a student. It is important to note that MRSA transmission can be prevented by simple measures such as hand hygiene and covering infections.
Closing to Clean or Disinfect
In general, it is not necessary to close schools to "disinfect" them when MRSA infections occur. MRSA skin infections are transmitted primarily by skin-to-skin contact and contact with surfaces that have come into contact with someone else's infection. Covering infections will greatly reduce the risks of surfaces becoming contaminated with MRSA.
Refer to the Environmental Cleaning and Disinfecting for MRSA page for more information.
School Notifications to the School Community following an MRSA Infection
Usually, it should not be necessary to inform the entire school community about a single MRSA infection. When an MRSA infection occurs within the school population, the school nurse and school physician should determine, based on their medical judgment, whether some or all students, parents, and staff should be notified. Consultation with the local public health authorities should be used to guide this decision.
Remember that staphylococcus (staph) bacteria, including MRSA, have been and remain a common cause of skin infections.
Notifications to the School that a Student has an MRSA Infection
Consult with your school about its policy for notification of skin infections.
- Unless directed by a physician, students with MRSA infections should not be excluded from attending school.
- Exclusion from school and sports activities should be reserved for those with wound drainage ("pus") that cannot be covered and contained with a clean, dry bandage and for those who cannot maintain good personal hygiene.
- Read more on the Advice for Coaches and Athletic Directors page.
- If you observe children with open draining wounds or infections, refer the child to the school nurse.
- Enforce hand hygiene with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizers (if available) before eating and after using the bathroom.
- Students with skin infections may need to be referred to a licensed health care provider for diagnosis and treatment. School health personnel should notify parents/guardians when possible skin infections are detected.
- Use standard precautions (e.g., hand hygiene before and after contact, wearing gloves) when caring for nonintact skin or potential infections.
- Use barriers such as gowns, masks, and eye protection if splashing of body fluids is anticipated.
Refer parents and students to the following resources on this site: