With the number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 in the U.S. rising and the CDC telling Americans to hope for the best but prepare for the worst, school districts in El Paso have begun taking measures in the event the latest coronavirus becomes an issue in the borderland.

While they all say they are closely monitoring developments and are following the guidance and recommendations of local, regional and national health authorities, some have begun or recently increased the frequency of disinfectant procedures to both reassure parents and stem the spread of germs.

It should be noted there are currently no confirmed cases of the COVID-19 in El Paso, and that health officials believe the risk to schools in our area is low.

El Paso Independent School District

EPISD spokesman Gustavo Reveles said custodial staff have increased the spraying and cleaning of classrooms and offices to protect against the spread of respiratory illnesses like the flu. This includes extensive treatment using the disinfecting fogging systems GermBlast and EMIST.

Ysleta Independent School District

Per Spokeswoman Patricia Ayala, YISD cleans and disinfects district schools, offices, and buses every day and will continue to remain vigilant through flu season. Ayala adds the district is following CDC’s guidance, which does not currently call for fogging. “If CDC’s guidance changes, we will follow their recommendations.”

Socorro Independent School District

Repeated communication request to SISD were not returned, but according to the El Paso Times, custodial staff at SISD was instructed to increase the disinfecting of classrooms and offices. The newspaper reports the district plans to use fogging equipment in both its schools and buses during its spring break.

Canutillo Independent School District

Liza Rodriguez, Public Information Officer, said frequently touched surfaces in schools, such as doorknobs, water fountains, and handrails, are cleaned daily, and adds that buses are continuously being disinfected. CISD does not currently plan to fog schools.