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Two Royse City schools to close Fri. for cleaning as Ebola precaution


Two Royse City Independent School District campuses will be closed on Friday after school officials learned that a nurse with children in Royse City schools treated an Ebola patient in Dallas, according to a Royse City Herald-Banner report.

School superintendent Kevin Worthy told the Herald-Banner that Ruth Cherry Intermediate School and Davis Elementary School will be closed on Oct. 17 for “deep cleaning.”

“We are closing tomorrow,” Worthy said. “We have chosen to do this in order to clean the facilities and we can conduct a better cleaning if the campuses are closed. Both will reopen Monday.”

Briana Aguirre, a Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital nurse, recently treated co-worker Nina Pham, the second confirmed Ebola patient in Texas.

“She has taken her kids out of school, although they currently have no symptoms,” Worthy told the Herald-Banner. “She has been very helpful during this whole thing.”

Worthy said that all other facilities in the district will be cleaned on Saturday as a precaution.

Royse City schools sent a letter to parents today saying that Aguirre has displayed no symptoms and that there is no risk to Royse City children or their families. The district also said that the cleaning was scheduled to alleviate any concerns about the situation.

Aguirre has chosen to keep her children at home as a precaution.

Aguirre was interviewed for NBC’s “Today” on Thursday and confirmed that she had treated Pham. Aguirre also said during the interview that she had been given insufficient protective gear.

“I watched them violate basic principles of nursing," Aguirre said. "I would try anything and everything to refuse to go there to be treated. I would feel at risk by going there. If I don’t actually have Ebola, I may contract it there," she said. 

NBC reported that Texas Health Presbyterian the network to a statement it issued that defended its actions against similar claims made by a group of anonymous nurses from the hospital. The statement said Duncan was “moved to a private room and placed in isolation” and that “staff wore the appropriate personal protective equipment” at all times. It also said that the hospital went “above and beyond the CDC recommendations” when disposing all hazardous waste.

Aguirre did take care of Pham, the first of two nurses who contracted Ebola while treating Thomas Eric Duncan, who was killed by the virus. Aguirre said she was given inadequate protective gear. The hospital provided gloves, protective gowns and a mask but a gap of several inches around her neck was left exposed, she told NBC.

“I’ll be honest, I threw a fit. I just couldn’t believe it,” she said. “In the second week of an Ebola crisis at my hospital, the only gear they were offering us at that time, and up until that time, is gear that is allowing our necks to be uncovered?”