Valley Schools Respond To Flu Outbreak

On Thursday, the total number of people suffering from the flu in America was at 21,000 and climbing.

The recent outbreak is causing concern across America. Children are one of the biggest groups at risk of seeing symptoms.

As a result, Valley schools are making sure kids stay clean and healthy during the day.

Letters have been sent home to parents at schools, like Keister Elementary in Harrisonburg, advising them what to do if their child gets sick.

At John Wayland Elementary, in Bridgewater, Principal David Burchfield says teachers are making their students aware of the importance of using hand sanitizer.

Recently, schools have been hit hard.

During a normal month at an elementary school, absentee levels are around four percent.

However, towards the end of December, multiple principals say that rate more than doubled. They believe the flu is a likely cause.

On top the hand sanitizer being used, kids are being told to cough into their elbows.

Burchfield says teachers are also sanitizing things like door knobs, key boards, and tables.

While school officials alway try to keep things clean and kids healthy, Burchfield says now is the time to remember to stay on top of things.

"Young children are susceptible to it (the flu) because they're constantly touching things," Burchfield explained." They're constantly touching their noses and eyes. It's good to help train them to have good healthy habits."

Many principals across the Valley say the techniques are working.

Despite the outbreak happening right now in America, absentee levels have returned to normal after a spike in December.


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