Zika prevention coming to Florida public classrooms
As confirmed Zika cases creep up Florida's east coast, Gov. Rick Scott is calling for prevention of the mosquito-borne virus to begin in the classroom.
The same day a non-travel Zika case was confirmed in Palm Beach County, marking 17 total cases in Florida, the governor directed the state Department of Health and the state Department of Education to partner together to provide Zika prevention guidance materials and resources for public school districts, state colleges and state universities in time for the start of the 2016-17 school year.
Each school district office, public college and public university will receive posters, palm cards, door hangers and other education materials that can be displayed throughout campuses and sent home with students. Kindergarten through 12th grade teachers will receive the Florida Department of Health’s Zika teacher toolkit, which includes messages and activities aligning with the Florida Standards that can be incorporated into teachers’ lesson plans.
Public schools, state colleges and universities in Miami-Dade, Broward, Martin, Monroe and Palm Beach counties will receive mosquito repellant.
Officials at each school district, public college and public university will be given contact information for the local health department so school clinic nurses and staff can be trained on prevention and symptom identification. Additional Zika awareness and prevention materials will be given out to parents and students of Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten programs and other school readiness programs through the state.
Prevention funding comes from the Florida Department of Health, which has received more than $8 million in Zika funding from Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, and an additional $26.2 million allocated by the governor in state general revenue for Zika preparedness and response.