KEYSER - While Mineral County Schools have been a bit luckier than their neighbors in Hampshire, superintendent Troy Ravenscroft says school officials continue to monitor attendance due to the recent uptick in flu cases.

By Liz Beavers
lbeavers@newstribune.info
Tribune Managing Editor
KEYSER - While Mineral County Schools have been a bit luckier than their neighbors in Hampshire, superintendent Troy Ravenscroft says school officials continue to monitor attendance due to the recent uptick in flu cases.
Hampshire County was forced to close schools early Thursday and was closed again Friday due to a large number of staff members calling off sick.
According to the Hampshire Review, 51 employees called off Thursday and the school system was only able to find substitutes for 30 of them.
Schools reopened Monday, but Hampshire High School was forced to close due to a water issue.
Ravenscroft told the News Tribune Friday that flu-related closures are usually due to staffing issues and not necessarily the amount of students who are absent.
“It’s actually not recommended that we close schools due to student absences,” he said.
If the county can’t find enough substitutes to adequately cover the staff absences, however, that is another matter.
“It becomes a safety issue,” he said.
Ravenscroft said Mineral County’s absences due to flu seem to be more of a problem at some schools and not others.
“The flu’s hitting everybody though,” he said. “It just hasn’t hit us so bad yet that we have to consider closing.”
According to published reports, schools in Lewis, Preston, Marion and Doddridge counties were also closed Friday due to illness.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, tips to help protect yourself from getting the flu include washing your hands frequently with warm water and soap; drinking plenty of fluids; eating healthy foods; disinfecting your home, office and school environment frequently; and keeping your kids at home if they are sick.