Patrick County Schools reported an increase in influenza cases at Hardin Reynolds Memorial School (HRMS) to the Virginia Department of Health (VDH).
Schools Superintendent Jason Wood said the epidemiologist recommended the division treat the 30-35 cases as a cluster of cases, and not an outbreak.
“The epidemiologist stated that in general the cases are low in Patrick County, therefore that’s why she is treating it as a cluster of cases and not an outbreak” and “still recommending in-person instruction with mitigation strategies,” he said.
While there are flu cases in other schools, Wood said the one at HRMS was the only one that needed to be reported to the VDH to ask for additional guidance.
One positive case was reported Oct. 21, and within a full calendar week, about 30 more were reported.
Wood said the VDH asked the division to send out some general information to families with some key information.
“That key information begins with to help prevent the spread please consider being vaccinated for influenza, individuals should seek medical attention and a diagnosis if they’re experiencing flu-like symptoms, and if you are sick, you should stay home,” he said.
He added the VDH also asked the school system to send out get the facts forms about influenza to parents.
Wood said potentially moving back to virtual learning because of the flu clusters is not under discussion, “because we know the benefits of in-person learning and also providing resources that our students and families need whether it be meals or mental health check-in on our students.”