• Bob Vlach, Woodford Sun Staff

School attendance near normal as flu cases rise in Kentucky

A larger number of students are typically absent due to illness during winter months, but Woodford County Public Schools did not experience anything out of the ordinary in terms of absences when winter break began last week, said schools Superintendent Scott Hawkins.

He said overall attendance for Woodford County schools was only slightly below 95 percent, the normal average.

More absences were reported at Woodford County High School than other schools in the district, but attendance rates remained around 94 percent overall before winter break began, Hawkins said.

“Any time when you start to have a few cases of the flu,” he said, “having a little time away (from school) is probably not a bad thing because that (type of illness) can be pretty contagious.”

“So the break is probably coming at a good time, although we have not seen a severe outbreak of anything that would be out of the ordinary in terms of our normal attendance.”

While Woodford County schools were not dealing with a severe outbreak of flu, flu-like and other illnesses before winter break, Hawkins said schools in other parts of the state were dealing with severe outbreaks.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of states reporting widespread flu activity grew from 12 to 23. Kentucky was among 10 states with high influenza-like illness activity for the week ending Dec. 16, with a total of 171 confirmed cases of influenza as of Dec. 9.

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