Parma’s Summit Academy Community School closes due to scabies infestation

December 11, 2018 GMT

Parma’s Summit Academy Community School closes due to scabies infestation

PARMA, Ohio -- Summit Academy Community School last week was closed for three days due to a scabies outbreak at the special education-focused Stumph Road building.

“We found out about scabies on Nov. 30,” Summit Academy Management CEO John Guyer said. “At that point, we cleaned the building over the weekend. The school was closed on Monday (Dec. 3), but on Tuesday the kiddos were back at school. Then on Wednesday, we had two more cases, so we shut the school down Thursday and Friday and cleaned it again.”

There were more than a half dozen student scabies infestations reported with a handful of staff also reporting infections. Guyer said one teacher was infected twice.

As far as cleaning the school, Guyer said the same method was used both on Dec. 3, as well as on Dec. 6 and 7.

“I know they went in with bleach wipes disinfecting and scrubbing halls and wiping desks and surfaces,” Guyer said. “The school custodian and others were involved. Really, with the cleaning, all that’s going to do is calm the fears of staff.

“Also, just having the school empty for 72 hours will pretty much eliminate (the mites and eggs). That’s what I’ve been told. Skin-to-skin contact, that’s where this gets picked up.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention describes scabies as an infestation caused by microscopic mites burrowing underneath the skin to live and lay eggs.

A Summit Academy Community School statement said: “A scabies appearance is a common occurrence in schools, and while the closure is not required by public health officials, school administration and staff felt it was a needed step to promote safety and cleanliness, as well as prevent spread among children and staff.”

When students and staff returned to school this week, Guyer said it was business as normal for the roughly 190 students without any further reports of scabies. Guyer said he can’t remember another similar outbreak at the school.

“This is more of a community health issue,” Guyer said. “It’s kind of hard for us to ensure kids don’t bring it in. Really, out of an abundance of caution, we just wanted to make sure the school wasn’t part of the spread of what was going on.”