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MCPS Zika Plan

zika virus  


Following a recent meeting with Florida’s Department of Health in Marion County and a conference call with the governor, commissioner of education and Florida’s attorney general, Marion County Public Schools shares this information regarding the Zika virus with our community. 


Mosquitos that carry the Zika virus are “day biters,” meaning they are most active during daylight hours.  Typically, these same mosquitos go “under cover” at night and are more dormant.  They do not travel far and are not active for long periods of time. They like small standing water areas like birdbaths, cups, buckets, and other items capable of holding small amounts of water.


If you want your child to wear insect repellent, please apply this at home BEFORE and/or AFTER school.  The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Florida Department of Health recommend this process as most appropriate.


Florida’s Zika hotline – 855.622.6735


These are some of the efforts our district is taking to address the Zika virus:


MCPS Zika Plan:

  • Direct partnership with Florida Department of Health in Marion County
  • “Drain and Cover” standing water areas and containers on campuses – eliminate standing water because these areas are prime mosquito breeding grounds
  • School nurses trained in Zika recognition
  • Classroom materials & health messages aligned with FL Standards in K-12 education
  • Elementary-aged 30-second educational video
  • Activity sheets for Pre-K - 12 students with corresponding teacher tools
  • Posters, palm cards, door hangers and other education materials to be displayed and sent home via Skylert and Peachjar
  • Zika Virus Information Hotline: 855.622.6735


As well, we encourage football crowds and other after-school event goers to have the following information:


"We want all of our MCPS family to stay safe and healthy. Though we have local Zika cases not contracted in Marion County, we are taking appropriate steps to remain safe. We are reducing standing water areas on our campuses. We are encouraging after-school event-goers to wear appropriate clothing and insect repellent as necessary. And we're stressing the importance of awareness and common-sense steps to avoid the Zika virus."

What You Can Do at Home

We encourage Florida residents and visitors to protect themselves from all mosquito-borne illnesses by draining standing water; covering their skin with repellent and clothing; covering windows with screens; and other basic precautions included in “drain and cover.”


DRAIN standing water to stop mosquitoes from multiplying

  • Drain water from garbage cans, house gutters, buckets, pool covers, coolers, toys, flower pots or any other containers where sprinkler or rain water has collected.
  • Discard old tires, drums, bottles, cans, pots and pans, broken appliances and other items that aren't being used.
  • Empty and clean birdbaths and pet water bowls at least once or twice a week.
  • Protect boats and vehicles from rain with tarps that don’t accumulate water.
  • Maintain swimming pools in good condition and appropriately chlorinated. Empty plastic swimming pools when not in use.


COVER skin with clothing or repellent

  • CLOTHING - Wear shoes, socks, and long pants and long-sleeves. This type of protection may be necessary for people who must work in areas where mosquitoes are present.
  • REPELLENT - Apply mosquito repellent to bare skin and clothing.
    • Always use repellents according to the label. Repellents with DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, and IR3535 are effective.
    • Use mosquito netting to protect children younger than 2 months old.


COVER doors and windows with screens to keep mosquitoes out of your house

  • Repair broken screening on windows, doors, porches, and patios.


Additional resources:


Centers for Disease Control & Prevention


Florida Department of Health


Florida School Boards Association