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How San Diego schools are responding to Monkeypox

With some San Diego schools back in session and others preparing to start in the coming days, concern is high over a monkeypox outbreak.

SAN DIEGO — Gearing up to get back to school, at San Diego's largest school district, San Diego Unified, Executive Director of Nursing and Wellness Susan Barndollar says they currently don't have any cases of monkeypox and have safety protocols in place for when school returns August 29.

"It is much harder to get in a school setting although anybody can get monkeypox. We as a district, monkeypox is not as transmissible in schools as say Covid, so I think if people are trying to compare it, it is not nearly as contagious, with that being said we are still being very careful, and we are following all the county guidelines," Barndollar said.

CBS 8 checked with other local school districts about their safety precautions amid the monkeypox outbreak and received a statement from the Poway Unified School District this afternoon that reads in part:

"We will continue to monitor the virus and transmission levels in the county and work closely with public health officials to provide any updates to staff and families as necessary."

The Chula Vista Elementary School District, which resumed classes on July 20, says it has no reported monkeypox cases. 

"We will continue to monitor this evolving situation closely. The District will send out a fact sheet to all staff and parents about the disease. The health and safety of all our staff and students is a top priority for the District, and we will continue to follow all local and state health guidelines," said CVESD spokesperson Giovanna Castro.

The San Diego County Office of Education said in a statement:

"It is in close contact with local public health; together, we are monitoring the situation and providing schools with updates and resources to protect our community.

 As always, we encourage parents to monitor the health of their children as they head back to school. Any symptoms consistent with monkeypox, such as characteristic rashes or lesions, should be assessed by a healthcare provider."

For safety guidelines at the college level, San Diego State University said it did not have any new protocol in place it could share today.

UC San Diego sent a notice out to students and staff that reads in part:

"UC San Diego Health is taking steps to help ensure the health and safety of the campus community. We are implementing our infection control and care plans, including working with our campus partners for student isolation space and support services as needed.

Students who are at risk of exposure to monkeypox and have developed skin lesions consistent with monkeypox should isolate from others and contact Student Health Services."

The University of San Diego wrote yesterday, "It is working collaboratively across the university to make sure our students understand the illness, its symptoms and are informed of the latest prevention and safety recommendations."

WATCH RELATED: UCSD program monitoring wastewater for COVID expands to track monkeypox

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