Kentucky

Schools Close for Flu Outbreak

Bus drivers in Webster County are not making their routes. Instead, they are scrubbing their buses from top to bottom.

“Anything that a little human can touch, cough on, whatever, they are cleaning. Seats, doors, windows, handrails everything,” says Webster County Transportation Director, Jill Simpson.

The flu is hitting Kentucky, forcing multiple school systems to close this week. Attendance at Webster County Schools dropped as low as 80%. Both Ohio and Webster County Schools will be out the rest of the week.

“Our district continues to be impacted with illness specifically flu, upper respiratory, strep,” says Carolyn Sholar, Webster County Director of Public Information and Community Education. It’s a lingering issue.”

School buses are typically spot cleaned, but since they can be a hotbed for germs, drivers say they are disinfecting everything so they can get back on the road and kids can get back to school.

“They’re in close proximity so if they are sneezing, coughing, it can be spread that way,” says Simpson.

Germs ranging from the common cold to the flu can be harboring on high-touched surfaces such as the bus seats and windows. Flu germs can survive on hard surfaces for as long as 24 hours.

“Anything that’s been to school, or touched a surface at school, probably will have germs on it,” says Sholar.

Health officials ask parents to disinfect all of their children’s belongings such as backpacks, lunch boxes, and books. It’s also important to encourage students not to share their personal belongings during flu season.

“Don’t share pencils, drinks, straws. Be careful when drinking out of water fountains,” says Sholar.

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