Despite several schools closing, flu rates are down in Lubbock

Despite several schools closing, flu rates are down in Lubbock

Posted: Updated:
LUBBOCK, Texas -

For a number of kids around Lubbock, it will be an extended weekend as schools close to disinfect.

"They're going to be really focusing on wiping down with disinfectants and contact surfaces that are sources of spreading germs," said Richard Baumgartner, Director of Rise Academy, one of several schools that is closed for the weekend.

Rise, Plainview ISD, and Hale Center have closed school early for the weekend due to illness.

"We thought maybe to break that cycle of contagion if we took a couple of days off at the end of this week, put that with Saturday and Sunday over the weekend, and then maybe when we come back on Monday we'll have a little bit of break from that 25 percent absent rate," Baumgartner said.

It is not necessarily the flu that is causing the closures.

"The primary problem is the respiratory flu but we also have problems with students with strep throat and with some types of stomach problems," he said.

Kathrine Wells with the Lubbock County Health Department said right now, flu rates are actually lower than in years past.

"We've seen a lot of flu-like symptoms and viruses going around," Wells said. "I've heard there's a lot of strep and some other viruses circulating, but we haven't seen as many flu."

She said those who have not done so already, should still get a flu shot and take other precautions to avoid getting sick.

"Hand washing, covering your mouth when you sneeze, and then if you're sick with flu or any other virus, stay home from work or school if you can."

Baumgartner said Rise Academy should be back open Monday. Hale Center will be closed Friday and Monday. Plainview ISD will reopen on Monday.

Check back for updates on school closures due to illness. 

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