School districts faults the flu for absences

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Flu season has reached its peak and people nationwide are continuing to suffer from it.

Now that kids are back in school from winter break, cases of the flu are spiking. Schools in the Southeast are seeing more empty seats in classrooms either due to testing positive for the flu or at least flu-like symptoms.

Aiken County, Columbia County, and Richmond County have noticed a decline of its students being present over the past couple of weeks.

The student population in Columbia County saw its number fluctuate over the past two weeks. Greenbrier Elementary is one of many schools in the CRSA that has seen an impact as many of its students are staying at home.

Greenbrier Principal, Mary Bridges says she would like for her student to attend school but should stay home if they are showing any flu-like symptoms. So far Greenbrier has seen not just students taking a sick day but also teachers too.

“Yesterday we had 85 kids out. We have a total of 686 kids,” said Bridges. “So it’s a pretty good number. Teachers, you know it fluctuates from one day to the next, today five teachers. some of them are out because their children go here and they’re sick.”

The staff members at Greenbrier Elementary are wiping and spraying down the classroom after each class. In fact, the elementary school spent more than 50 dollars on cleaning supplies just in the past two weeks.

Principal Bridges says her biggest goal in keeping her students safe from the flu, is stressing the importance of hand-washing, not just using sanitizer.

Director of Communications for Richmond County Board of Education, Kaden Jacobs says they too are also seeing an increase of student absences.

“We have a quite a few students out, said Jacobs.” However, we can’t say if it is specifically flu-related.”

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