Staph Infections Being Attacked in Rockwood Locker Rooms, Says Facilities Director
Not long ago, the Eureka High School guys' locker rooms harbored more occurrences of staph infections than average; Rockwood School District administrators say the issue was addressed.
Staph (pronounced: staff) is the shortened name for Staphylococcus, a type of bacteria that can live harmlessly on many skin surfaces. However, there are more than 30 varieties in the staph family of bacteria, according to medical sources, and they can cause different kinds of illnesses, such as boils or infections of the skin or urinary tract.
Parents in the past two to three years have noted that at Eureka High School, staph infections have occurred four to five times more frequently compared to every one case at other schools.
Overcrowded conditions stemming from the drastically outgrown locker rooms at Eureka High have been blamed. What has been done about the issue?
While Patch was reporting on an article published Wednesday (Rockwood Locker Rooms: Parity?), Rockwood School District facilities' administrators shared the general cleaning procedures used for the Eureka High School locker rooms.
Mike Schneider, Rockwood construction and project coordinator, told Patch that a ventilation challenge was thought to have contributed to staph infection problems in the past, but that is no longer the case.
According to KidsHealth.org, people can get staph infections from contaminated objects, but staph bacteria often spread skin-to-skin/person to person among those who live close together in group situations.
The site's authors said staph infections usually happen when people with skin infections share things, such as bed linens, towels or clothing: "Warm, humid environments can contribute to staph infections, so excessive sweating can increase someone's chances of developing an infection."
Chris Freund, Rockwood's director of facilities, said the following procedures are used at Eureka High:
- Standard cleaning throughout school year:
- Nightly a Kaivac is used to power wash, with disinfectant, and rinse all restrooms, showes and floors.
- Twice a week (Tuesday and Thursday), a fogging machine filled with Sani-Shield is used. The treatment runs for roughly 10 to 15 minutes.
- Once every other Wednesday, the locker faces, handles and locks are wiped down with disinfectant.
- During heavier sport seasons, such as football and wrestling:
- Kaviac nightly.
- Nightly use of fogging machine filled with Sani-Shield.
- Locker faces, handles and locks wiped down with disinfectant.
- Every Friday, coaches are generally the last ones to leave locker rooms. They set off an 8-ounce aerosol can of Sani Guard Total Release Sanitizing Fogger.
Fruend said during the summer, the locker rooms are cleaned from ceiling to floor, including the insides of the lockers, light fixture covers, showers and restrooms. He said all elements then are power washed and wiped down with a disinfectant called Terminator.
He also said trash cans full of disinfectant is supplied to teams to clean their equipment, upon request.
Editor's Note: Patch contacted Rockwood supervisor of health and wellness Amy Wehr to see if staph infection incidence numbers were available. She was out of the office for spring break.