Caldwell ISD cleaning campuses to fight flu

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CALDWELL, Tex. (KBTX) - Custodians in Caldwell ISD spent the weekend cleaning and disinfecting the schools after a large number of students were absent last week with the flu.

The Type-A flu that we’ve been having here a lot of times does not come with a fever so children were coming to school with it and passing it on to other kids," said Andrew Peters, Caldwell ISD Superintendent.

"Friday afternoon we made the decision to cancel school mainly just to keep the kids separated from each other so that they quit spreading it," he said.

Peters said canceling school on Veterans Day was a difficult choice, but the right one.

"We knew a lot of parents would be off work and so it would be easier for them to find childcare and I think the consensus in the community was it's a good call," said Peters.

It's not just the students that have been sick. Some of their staff was out, too.

"Our head nurse had the flu about two weeks ago and was out and she’s back and then others have been getting it as well from bus drivers to teachers," said Peters.

"My wife's a substitute teacher so she's been in the middle of it," said Jim Heckman, a Caldwell ISD Grandparent.

Heckman's grandkids were all off school Monday and he brought several of them to the city's Veteran's Day program. Heckman served in the Navy. He said he's been concerned with the flu spreading.

"Well it's just been a tough couple of weeks and we've had bad flu in the county before but this is I think the earliest we've seen it," he said.

"It takes 15, 16 custodians all weekend to get everything wiped down from every door handle, every drinking fountain and everything like that so they worked all day Saturday as well and came in today on Monday just to do some touch-ups," said Peters.

"And we're just looking forward to it being over," said Heckman.

Classes in Caldwell are set to resume again Tuesday. The district tells KBTX that sick days will not have to be made up. CISD currently has around 1,800 students enrolled.