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Schools and assisted living facilities prepare for flu season

Students eat lunch at West Salem Middle School.
Students eat lunch at West Salem Middle School.

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) – As temperatures dip and we spend more time indoors, the spread of germs starts to increase. It also means an increase flu cases.

While a number of students visit the West Salem School Nurses Office each day, the flu and cold season will see those numbers climb.

“We’re all touching,” Nurse Beth Clements said. “We have lots of common surfaces that we’re touching, whether it’s door handles, whether it’s tables or if it’s in the bathrooms.”

As those cases start to climb, the school district starts to monitor the number and when those kids can return to class.

“If they have a fever 100 degrees or more, we would want them to stay at home and they are not to return until 24 hours after that fever has gone,” Clements explained.Students eat lunch at West Salem Middle School.

This means it’s gone without the use of medication. Another place where flu spread is very concerning is assisted living centers.

“The flu hits elderly people so rapidly and it just takes a big toll on them,” Springbrook Village Director Lisa Kulas said.

Officials with Springbrook Village in La Crescent held a flu shot clinic for residents and staff recently, but visitors can bring in the virus to the facility as well. So they ask anyone with flu symptoms to refrain from visiting until you are well.

Worker helps a senior to their room.
Worker helps a senior to their room.


“Because when you are in a community like this, one person comes down with it it can travel very quickly and spread from one person to the next,” Supervisor of Nursing Services Becky Gross-Rayfield said.

Staff will be monitoring the elderly to make sure they’re not showing signs of the flu. If so, those elderly will be isolated for a little time.

“Instead of utilizing the community dining room here at Springbrook that they take their trays to their room. So we’ll deliver those,” she added.

No matter where you are at though, officials ask all to wash their hands often.

Worker helps a senior to their room.
Worker helps a senior to their room.

“I think parents can do it and teach their children as well,” Clements finished.

Springbrook village says they’ll notify families if a flu outbreak has occurred and hang signs on doors to notify visitors. West Salem School District officials say if they start to see an increase in cases they’ll notify parents as well as the county health department.

Jeremy Culver

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