Even as the influenza virus makes its way through Southwest Virginia, school officials in Henry and Patrick counties are pushing back against concerns of an epidemic.
Andrea Cassell, assistant superintendent of Instruction for Patrick County Public Schools, said “we certainly have the flu at our schools,” adding that the number was significant but far from being an epidemic.
The findings were the same for Henry County. Director of Communications and Organizational Learning Monica Hatchett said that “some students are out with the flu but not any more than usual for this time.”
Hatchett also said that the schools were on target for attendance during this period demonstrating that the flu hasn’t caused any abnormal gaps in instruction time for students.
Similarly, Parker Gunn, Communications and Community Outreach coordinator for Martinsville City Public Schools, said that “there have been multiple confirmed cases of the flu but nothing that should cause panic.”
Cassell encouraged parents and students to continue practicing “preventative hygiene,” a reference to the exercise of washing hands and avoiding contact between the hands and eyes or the mouth.
“Communication is really important between staff, parents and students,” she said. “So, stay home if you have the flu.”