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Hawkins schools asking parents to help prevent the spread of flu

Jeff Bobo • Jan 4, 2020 at 8:30 AM

ROGERSVILLE — Hawkins County school officials are taking steps to minimize the potential impact of flu epidemic-related student absenteeism when classes resume Monday.

Director of Schools Matt Hixson said school administrators have asked custodial staff to continue to clean thoroughly and teachers to remind students to wash their hands frequently and to cover their mouths and noses when sneezing or coughing.

In a letter sent to parents this week, Hixson noted that during this flu season, school officials will carefully be monitoring the attendance of each school daily.

During the last week school was in session prior to Christmas vacation (Dec. 16-19), overall district attendance was 90%, well below the goal of 96%.

Hixson told the Times News Friday that if attendance is low again when school resumes, in a worst case scenario the system will cancel classes to help prevent the spread of flu through its schools.

“We are going to look at attendance numbers Monday and make some recommendations depending upon what we see,” Hixson said.

“In order to minimize the spread of illnesses, it is important that we notify parents or guardians immediately if their child becomes ill at school,” Hixson stated in his letter to parents. “We ask that you keep all emergency cards up to date with current phone numbers. Most importantly, keep all students with flu symptoms home from school for 24 hours fever free without the use of fever reducing medicine. Working together, we hope to keep our staff and students well during this flu season.”

Anyone with questions can call Hawkins County Schools’ Health Services Director Becky Little (423) 272-7629 ext. 2002 or email her at becky.little@hck12.net.

The school system also sent parents additional information from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services about flu prevention, and that document is included in the photo gallery of the online version of this article at www.timesnews.net.

Aside from getting vaccinated, the report recommends that parents and children stay away from people who are sick as much as possible. Those who are sick or whose children are sick should avoid others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.

Also, remember to cover your coughs and sneezes, wash your hands often, avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth, and clean surfaces that may be contaminated with flu viruses. These everyday actions can help reduce your chances of getting sick and prevent the spread of germs if you are sick.

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