WAAY 31 got a first-hand look at the deep clean schools are doing to kill the flu bug from spreading.
“We’ve been disinfecting and we’ve been cleaning, but this just gives us an opportunity to do it without such high traffic at school since we’re closed," said Albertville High School principal, Dr. Deidra Robinson.
Robinson took a break from cleaning Thursday to explain why the district told all students to stay home.
One of the school’s custodians said something similar, just a lot more bluntly.
“If parents didn’t send their kids to school sick, I think we’d be alright," said custodian, Phillip Arledge.
According to Robinson, the high school averaged about 65-75 absences in the last few weeks.
But on Wednesday, 150 students called out sick. That’s about one out of every 10 children.
“You’ll see them one day and then they won’t be here," said custodian, Dianne Goble. "I mean, they’re just like here and gone.”
Goble told me she and her co-workers took the chance to do a deep scrub instead of letting more germs in.
“Some of our chemicals have to sit for ten minutes to be the most effective, and during the school day, we really don’t have time to let it sit for ten minutes and close down a bathroom or something," Goble said.
And others agree the closing is a good thing when it comes to disinfecting the school.
"Well, we just don’t have kids in the way, and we don’t have to wait on rooms to be emptied, and we can get around better," Arledge said.
“We’ve been trying, but, of course, when you don’t have fourteen hundred and something students in the building, it does help us get ahead of it a little bit," Robinson added.
The Albertville school district says the biggest thing it noticed is the number of students going to the nurse and then home sick.
“Of course we sent them home through an excuse check out and encouraged them to go to the doctor to treat their symptoms," Robinson said.
According to the superintendent, they have been seeing a peak in absences with almost 400 out of 5500 students in the district missing school, but he says it’s hard to say how many of those absences were flu-related.