SILVER SPRING TOWNSHIP, CUMBERLAND COUNTY, Pa. - About 20 percent of high school students in the Cumberland Valley School District have called out of school in the last week. The district is not closing schools, but is doing its best to keep the schools sanitized so more kids don't come down with something.
About 500 of the high school's 2,800 student body was out this week.
“Everyone is coughing, blowing their nose," said Gillian Smith, junior.
Smith says, about 75 percent of her friends have been sick at home with the flu or stomach bug.
“If you just go to the nurse and say I’m not starting to feel well, they’ll send you home right away," said Smith. "So many people are going home. I think the other day 68 went home just from the nurses office.”
The district says their custodial crews are making sure they clean and sanitize commonly touched areas throughout the district and will sanitize rooms that need extra attention above and beyond their daily cleanings.
The district is asking parents to keep their kids home when they have a fever, vomiting, diarrhea, or a cough that keeps them up at night.
To prevent the spread of the flu or other viruses:
- Get vaccinated
- Wash your hands often
- Don't touch your face
- Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.
Smith says, with feeling like there's germs and sick students all around her at the high school, she's doing her best to avoid getting sick.
“I wash my hands after anyone sneezing, I don’t put my hands on the door. I put my sleeve around my hands, when touching door knobs," said Smith. "I’m constantly telling people to wash their hands. I’m taking vitamin C drops to make sure I don’t get sick.”
The school district says the absentee rates they're seeing are about double what they normally are.