With the flu hitting hard in so many parts of the country, Albemarle County schools are stepping up precautions to prevent the spread of the virus. However, they’ve yet to see anything out of the ordinary - at least not yet.
A parent from Red Hill Elementary School sent NBC29 a copy of a text message sent to parents notifying them of flu cases at the school and a note about pink slips sent home on how to prevent the influenza’s spread.
Albemarle County Public Schools say the Thomas Jefferson Area Health District sends the school system form letters to send out when the department starts seeing cases of the flu. The school system is also encouraging students to wash their hands diligently, cover their nose when they sneeze, and to use hand sanitizer when necessary.
School administrators are also recommending parents keep their children home for 24 hours after the fever resolves and without the use of fever-reducing medications.
“Our building services folks are stepping up their normal cleaning and disinfecting, so they're putting particular effort into disinfecting commonly touched surfaces such as door knobs and surfaces in bathrooms, and surfaces in classrooms,” says Eileen Gomez, the school nurse coordinator for ACPS.
ACPS says the number of cases school-wide is not unusual for this time of year. The school system sees it as a problem when about 5 percent of students report having influenza or similar symptoms.
The schools have been working closely with the health department which is still advising people to get their flu shots.
As for Red Hill Elementary School, there have only been two reported cases so far.