Local School Targets Athletics for MRSA Prevention

Bryan Welps, River Road High School Athletic Director
Bryan Welps, River Road High School Athletic Director

One local school is intensifying its staph prevention measures - starting with student athletes. 
NewsChannel 10 found out how River Road High School is responding to recent MRSA deaths in the Texas panhandle.

School leaders are focusing on more cleaning, and disinfecting all over campus, and especially in athletic facilities. They're also ordering more towels for their athletes. They tell us after a Borger Middle School student died of MRSA, they've reevaluated the ways they prevent dangerous staph infection on campus.

One thing they want to do is make sure students are not sharing towels. Health professionals warn sharing towels is a way MRSA can spread. Athletic Director Bryan Welps notes each student athlete has a personal towel for showering, but he wants to make sure they also have one on the field and on the court as well.  "When they're wiping sweat and doing things at games... we're gonna make sure a kid has their own towel," says Welps.

Health professionals also recommend keeping open wounds properly covered. Welps says River Road coaches are stepping up their vigilance on that. "Any type of cut or any type of open wound we make sure it's covered and also we make sure it's taken care of in our training room before they leave that day," Welps adds.

Below is what other area school districts tell us they're doing to increase staph prevention measures.

Amarillo Independent School District

  • District head nurse and athletic trainers have met with public health officials about MRSA prevention
  • Custodial staff directed to carry out more thorough cleanings
  • School officials spoke with students about hygiene
  • School officials promoting greater handwashing

Canyon Independent School District

  • MRSA guidelines sent to principals and teachers
  • Teachers spoke with students about MRSA prevention
  • Parents of all athletes received letters about MRSA prevention
  • School officials have prepared instruction letters to parents in case of MRSA outbreak

For More information on the dangerous staph infection known as MRSA click on the link below.