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Banquete ISD closes to try and shake off flu

Posted at 10:20 PM, Feb 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-05 01:44:34-05

Federal health officials warn the flu virus is active this season and many parts of the nation are taking extreme precautions to keep the virus from spreading.

That's the case with a school district in the Coastal Bend, which has canceled classes until Monday because of a flu outbreak.

See how local and area school districts are protecting themselves against flu

Banquete ISD is being proactive when it comes to battling this year's strain of the flu. According to the district's superintendent, 15 percent of students are sick across all campuses.

"Out of 45 rooms they checked, including some restrooms -- only five were considered good," said Dr. Max Thompson.

It's because of that, and excessive absences caused by the flu and flu-related symptoms, that Thompson has decided to close all Banquete ISD schools the remainder of the week.

It was a decision that didn't come lightly.

"When it snowed a couple of years ago, we did not let out of school and we did not delay school -- when it's been flooding times," Thompson said. "The only times we let out was Friday when Hurricane Harvey was coming up into the gulf."

The junior high has been hit the hardest with 25 percent of the student body out and 20 percent of staff calling out sick.

The district has hired a Robstown company to disinfect and sanitize all district facilities from the ground up.

Thompson said everything will be cleaned, "from classrooms, to hallways, to restrooms, to field houses, gymnasium and even our buses."

It's a move that most parents agree with.

"This is the second time my kids have gotten the flu at the house, so it's serious," said one Banquete parent. "It needs to be cleaned."

School officials hope the time away from school facilities will keep those wh are healthy from getting sick, and those who are sick a chance to get better.

The school days missed will not need to be made up.