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Uptick in cold and flu affecting attendance in Tri-County schools

By Jakob Postlewaite Dec 7, 2022 | 10:26 AM

Tri-County Regional Centre for Education office (Y95 News Photo)

Schools across the province are seeing a rise in absenteeism due to an increase of respiratory illnesses.

Tri-County Regional Centre for Education Executive Director Jared Purdy discussed the situation here in the Tri-Counties.

“We’ve seen some pockets of schools in all three counties where we’ve seen higher rates of absenteeism, we’ve been working with public health in those cases,” says Purdy. “The attendance piece and having subs come in, children having to stay home, that would be the biggest impact we’ve had so far.”

He says they’ve seen 15-20% absenteeism in some schools and in smaller more rural schools up to 30-40%.

Purdy is sharing recommendations to help people everyone safe.

“If families are seeing that their children are sick we’re asking them to monitor their children closely and if they’re showing some of those symptoms to remain home until they’re feeling better,” says Purdy. “The choice is there when they return to put on a mask for 2 to 3 days.”

He says masking is not mandated but is an option to help mitigate risk.

The Department of Health and Wellness is also making the following recommendations:

  • If your child is over  six months of age, please make sure they get their influenza vaccine as soon as possible. Make sure everyone in the family also receives their flu vaccine as well. This will help protect other family members and friends.
  • Ensure you and your child are up to date on all vaccines, including tetanus, pertussis, measles and COVID-19.
  • If your child is sick, please have them stay home until they are feeling better. Once your child is able to return to school and activities, they should choose to wear a mask when around others for 2 to 3 days.
  • If you or a family member is feeling unwell, but have to visit a public indoor space, please wear a mask.
  • If at all possible, please don’t let friends or relatives who are sick be around infants, young children and those with other health challenges.


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