MISD Enacts Safety Precautions For Ebola - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

MISD Enacts Safety Precautions For Ebola

Anum Valliani

NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - The ebola virus has sneaked its way into the state. So the Midland Independent School District is upping their safety measures to keep it away from here. 

Starting now, all campus administrators have to ask a series of questions to new enrollees, including if they traveled to West Africa and if so, did they come into contact or care for anyone who was sick there.

As long as they say no, they're cleared to attend class. If not, a visit to the hospital is the next step.

Tracey Dees, who's the district's Director of Health Services said this mandatory screening won't affect anyone already in the system.  

"We're not concerned about those people. The incubation period  for ebola is 21 days, and if they traveled during the summer time and they didn't exhibit any symptoms at this point in time then they're fine," she said.

According to Dees, the initiative is out of precaution, not concern. She said, they've been getting students from around the world lately, and that keeping all of their kids safe is priority.

"There probably will be some parents who think we overreacted, but it's just important for us to be able to say well we were very proactive," she said.

That includes parent Chance Anderson who feels the questioning is more of an inquisition that invades people's privacy.

"I think sometimes we give up too much of our freedoms to have security based on fear that sometimes is hyped up," he explained. "As long as it's not reactive, and a knee-jerk decision that they made, whether it is in this case, I don't know. I don't know all the facts behind it but yeah, we need to be proactive and really think things through before we react."

But students like Midland High Sophomore Diana Ontiveros, believe this is a positive step that is causing peers to be more careful about general health and hygiene. 

"Some things could be over the top but you'll never know what really might happen. I just hear that it's getting closer and closer by the week so I do feel safe by what the district is doing here at school," she said.

Officials said this initiative will continue until local or state health authorities tell them otherwise.  

In the meantime, they encourage anyone with questions to shoot them a call (432-240-1524, 432-689-1015) or email trace.dees@midlandisd.net

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