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Early flu season gets the attention of schools in Lancaster County

(Hempfield) — An early jump in flu cases in Lancaster County has school districts on alert.

But administrators are confident they’re doing all they can to control any spread of the virus.


Flu cases across Lancaster County are at 33, from just 13 a few weeks ago, according to the latest data from the state Health Department.

Antibacterial soaps, regular cleanings, and extra attention to schools where students could be at risk are all planned in the Hempfield School District.

Superintendent Brenda Becker says she also meets monthly with superintendents from across the county to get reports on issues in their districts.
“We’re very quick that if anyone of us are seeing an uptick and something that’s a little unusual, we’ll check with our fellow superintendents and say ‘Hey are you seeing the same thing?’

“Because it helps sometimes to know is it just us, is this something in our district alone, or are we seeing this in other areas?”

But she says schools face certain limits in what they can do.

“We don’t control who comes into the building from that aspect. And we know there are a lot of parents with work schedules and it’s hard to find someone else to watch their children if they are ill, and sometimes they think, well they can make it through if they just take it a little bit easier.”

Becker says parents would be better off keeping kids at home to give them a chance to get healthy and protect other students.

She says she encourages her staff to do the same.

Total reported flu cases for the midstate, by county:
Berks: 12
Cumberland: 10
Dauphin: 21
Franklin: 4
Juniata: 1
Lancaster: 33
Lebanon: 3
Mifflin: 4
Northumberland: 1
Perry: 1
Schuylkill: 9
Snyder: 1
Union: 3
York: 18