Schools and Daycares: MRSA Prevention and Response

Key points

  • MRSA skin infections spread mostly through skin-to-skin contact and contact with contaminated surfaces (a place where the germ lives or is present).
  • Simple measures like hand hygiene and covering wounds can prevent the spread of MRSA.


MRSA skin infections can occur in community settings, including schools, and are mainly spread through skin-to-skin contact and contact with contaminated surfaces or shared items. Practicing good hygiene and taking quick action when infections occur are vital steps in preventing the spread of MRSA in schools.

Why it matters

Preventing MRSA infections helps maintain a healthy school environment and reduces the risk of outbreaks that can lead to more serious health issues.

General guidance

  • Encourage students and staff to wash their hands with soap and water frequently.
  • Advise students and staff to keep cuts and abrasions clean and covered with a bandage until healed.
  • Ensure regular cleaning of shared equipment and surfaces.

Closing to clean or disinfect

Generally, you don't need to close schools to "disinfect" them when MRSA infections occur. Routine cleaning practices are enough in most cases.


  • Usually, you don't need to inform the entire school community about a single MRSA infection.
  • In most schools, the school healthcare provider should notify the student's teacher or staff of any disease or infection. Consult with your school about its policy.
  • The school healthcare provider should decide whether they should notify some or all students, parents and staff. If healthcare providers are not available at the school, consult with the local public health department to guide this decision.


If multiple MRSA infections are identified in the school (i.e., an outbreak), facilities should report the outbreak to the local health department for further investigation and/or guidance.

Can a student with MRSA attend school?

Most students with MRSA infections can attend school unless a healthcare provider tells them not to. They should not attend school if:

  • They cannot maintain good personal hygiene.
  • They have a wound with drainage (pus) that cannot be covered and contained with a clean, dry bandage.

Guidance for teachers and staff

  • If you observe a child with open draining wounds or infections, take them to the school medical personnel. If one is not available, call the child's guardian and tell them to seek medical attention.
  • Reinforce the need for hand hygiene by everyone as a part of general good health practice:
    • Before eating.
    • After touching infected wounds or soiled bandages.
    • After using the bathroom.

Guidance for school medical staff

  • If a student has a skin infection, refer them to a healthcare provider for diagnosis and treatment.
  • Notify parents/guardians when you detect possible skin infections.
  • Use Standard Precautions when caring for broken skin (open wounds) or potential infections.
  • Use barriers such as gloves, gowns, masks and eye protection if splashing or other contact with infected body fluids is anticipated.