Bibb County taking precautions for students, staff ahead of flu season

Doctors offices around West Alabama have been slammed with sick patients this week.

So how are our school systems holding up?

WVUA 23’s Chelsea Barton checked in at Bibb County Thursday to see how things are going there.

School systems around the state are seeing more absences because of flu, strep and the stomach virus. At Brent Elementary in Bibb County, their numbers aren’t high yet, and for that they are grateful.

“As far as flu tests go, they are not coming back positive at the rate that we are seeing in nearby systems,” said Superintendent Duane McGee.

Across the school system, Bibb County had around 45 students test positive for the flu this week.

And here’s something unique to the Bibb County School System: through a partnership with Cahaba Medical Care, they have two clinics at West Blocton and Brent elementary schools that operate for students and employees.

“So if a child goes to see the school nurse and shows signs of the flu or strep or fever, we can contact the parent and if we have permission, the child can go directly from the nurse office to the school based health clinic and get tested,” said Bibb County lead District Nurse Maggie Tucker. “And it is great for parents because they can come pick up their child from the clinic and the provider from the clinic could have already called in medication if needed or treated the child.”

McGee said his staff is thankful it hasn’t come to this yet, but is prepared to spring into action if illness numbers continue to rise

“We have a school nurse in every school and when they see or feel that the numbers in an individual school are really creeping up and attendance is starting to be impacted, then we will look at it,” he said. ” If we need to close a local school down for a few days to give the flu a chance to stop from spreading, we can do that or a feeder cluster like a south end or north end or the entire school district.”

After speaking with Hale County Superintendent Michael Ryans, we learned schools in Greensboro had a virtual day Thursday and will have another Friday due to sickness.

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