CADDO PARISH, LA (KSLA) - A massive cleaning is now underway on this first day of a local grade school closure. All because of a big flu outbreak at Jack P. Timmons Elementary School, just west of Shreveport.
“We know that the flu virus can be on a surface 48 hours. So we’re trying to make sure that in one way or another we touch every surface that that virus could come in contact with,” explained Caddo Schools' spokeswoman Mary Nash Wood.
Wood described two factors led to the decision to close: The number of sick kids reached 30 percent, just as others began to get sick, as well.
“For teachers and staff we were starting to see a drop as well, because students were coming to school ill and then carrying the flu virus and then being checked out.”
Those cleaning crews now have through Thursday to get their job done before Timmons Elementary reopens on Friday.
“I’ve got 5 great grand kids that go to school at Timmons,” stated Jerry King, a local businessman.
King told KSLA that fortunately none of his great grand kids has gotten sick. He said relatives have now stepped up to help with watching those kids until they head back to school.
While having to close a school because of the flu is not that common, it’s also not extremely rare. For example, school district officials tell us that last year alone, during last year’s flu season, two schools had to be closed and cleaned up just like Timmons.
Wood and others in the school district urge parents to keep their kids home if they’re sick. That includes being fever free 24 hours before returning to school.
Wood added that this was the first year that Caddo Schools partnered with CareDox for free flu shots at their schools.