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Rise in flu cases impacting Brownsville ISD student attendance

2 months 2 hours 39 minutes ago Thursday, October 06 2022 Oct 6, 2022 October 06, 2022 8:24 PM October 06, 2022 in News - Local

For the first time ever, the Brownsville Independent School District will hold a flu vaccine clinic in response to rising flu cases in the district. 

The district plans to administer about 2,000 vaccines at a clinic for staff members at the Brownsville Administration Building on Friday starting at 7 a.m. 

"We need to keep the district going and we need to have our staff, our teachers in the classroom,” Gutierrez said. “Our departments need to be ongoing. I wish I had vaccines for everyone; 2,200 is not a lot for a district our size."

RELATED: Rise in flu cases overwhelming health experts in Cameron County  

Over the past three weeks, the district has seen an increase in absences. Officials say one of the main reasons is the rise in flu cases. About 200 students at Brownsville ISD have caught the flu since the start of the school year. 

Back in August, the district had about a 94 percent attendance rate. That's dropped by about five percent over the past three weeks.

The district sent out a memo to parents and staff about flu prevention recommendations to follow, like wearing face masks, practicing social distancing and frequent hand washing.

"Hopefully it can help us slow down the flu, the spread of the flu, and our kids can be back in the classroom and our attendance can get better in the mid-90s like it use to be," Gutierrez said. 

READ ALSO: Hidalgo County health officials urge residents to get flu shots as hospitalizations increase  

The district says it will continue trying to make vaccines accessible for everyone, including its students.

"We're going to continue ordering because this is going to be ongoing for the next several weeks," Gutierrez said. "So, we're going to order flu vaccines and make it available for staff and open it up more for students."

The La Feria Independent School District also saw a dip in attendance rate due to flu cases and a stomach bug, according to the superintendent. The district held a flu vaccine clinic for staff on Thursday, and will hold another clinic for students next week. 

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