Chandler Elementary feeling impact of illnesses

Chandler Elem. feeling impact of illnesses

WARRICK CO., Ind. (WFIE) - Dozens of students at Chandler Elementary have been hit with the flu.

Superintendent Brad Schneider tells us 34 percent of students called in on Friday.

Flu-related deaths continue to rise in the U.S. and in the Hoosier state. On Friday, the Vanderburgh County Health Department reported a second wave of flu.

“As of last Friday, we have lost 45 individuals to flu-related illnesses," said Lynn Herr with the Vanderburgh County Health Department.

According to Herr, school districts in the state set their own standards when it comes to closing schools.

“Each individual school corporation does make a threshold in which they close schools and do a decontamination,” she explained.

On Friday, Warrick County parents were concerned when finding out that 34 percent of students called in.

“If you keep having these kids in school and re-infecting other students, then they’re going to take it home," said Cathy Feldbusch, a Chandler grandparent.

The number that wasn’t high enough for the district to cancel school, but a Chandler Elementary dad, Tony Hughes, said all three of his kids are sick and are contributing to that high number.

“I don’t see missing four days of school in fifth grade going to keep you out of college, so I have no problem keeping my kids home," said Hughes.

School officials tell us an extra 10 percent of students were out on Friday. Parents said their kids may not have come down with the flu if the district had called off classes.

Feldbusch said her grandson came down with flu-like symptoms. “When my daughter called in for him they wanted to know, and they never asked before. . . does he have a fever? Does he have diarrhea? Is he vomiting? So to me, it’s pretty well all over the county.”

Schneider says they aren’t seeing as many absences at other schools. District-wide, the absentee rate is 15 percent. He says custodians have been wiping down desk and sanitizing highly touched areas.

Warrick school officials say they’re taking extra precautions, including a deep clean Friday night and Saturday morning.

The district asks parents to keep kids at home until they are symptom-free for 24 hours.

Chandler Elementary was supposed to host several basketball games this weekend. However, we’re told that those games are now on hold, and families who show up will be turned away before they get to the door.

They say all weekend activities have been canceled. School officials are closing the building so it can be sanitized.

There’s no word on when the teams will be making up their missed games.

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