Spike in Illnesses in Blue Ridge School District Sends Students Home

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NEW MILFORD TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- A spike in students out sick in one district in Susquehanna County has prompted officials to send some tips on staying healthy.

While elementary students were out to play at recess, school officials are working to keep the Blue Ridge School District germ free.

Over the past few days, they have seen an increase in student absences in that part of Susquehanna County.

"We usually average about four and a half or five percent of the students absent on a particular day. Over the last few days, we have seen that number rise to 10 or 12 percent," said Blue Ridge Superintendent Matthew Button.

Close to 1,000 students are enrolled in the Blue Ridge School District. Not only are many kids staying home from school, but others are being sent home because of illnesses.

School officials tell Newswatch 16 they have no confirmed cases of kids suffering from the flu.

Superintendent Matthew Button has worked in education for more than 20 years and says students getting sick is common for this time of year.

"It is definitely up high right now, and we are aware of that, but it is not something we are worried that it is a pandemic or anything of that nature," Button said.

Health officials say children should wash their hands with soap and water and use hand sanitizer. They also add if the child has a fever of 100 degrees or higher for more than 24 hours, they should stay home.

"It is very important that kids coming in wash their hands, limit close contact with others, cover coughs and sneezes, and if they are not feeling well, stay home in the first place," advised certified school nurse Kathleen Andusko.

"They've got to go to school. We do not want to miss any of that, so, yes, we are constantly stressing washing hands, cleaning backpacks, all that good stuff," said Pam Brant of Great Bend.

School officials say they will be updating their website and social media with more information on what you should do to prevent your child from getting sick.

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