Schools close as Tri-Cities hits peak flu season

University School in Johnson City closed Thursday and Friday after 14 percent of students were absent in the early part of the week. (K. Roberts, WCYB)

Health officials say flu season has hit its peak in our region.

A thorough cleaning process now underway at University School in Johnson City. The day before, more than 90 students stayed home sick.

"What we're seeing is a lot of sharing of the illness, so they bring it home. They share it with their family. It goes through the family, they get healthy and they get it again from somebody. It's just this recycling of germs," University School spokesperson Kristen Swing said.

Records show around 14 percent of students absent Monday through Wednesday leading to the decision to close through the weekend.

Swing said, "Our janitorial staff is actually going through and doing a thorough cleaning of the building And also trying to eliminate anything that may be sticking around, that kind of thing. Just making sure that by the time students come back and faculty and staff, they are coming back to a building that is as clean as it can be."

Tri-Cities Christian School also making a similar decision to close for the remainder of the week. This comes as health officials say the Tri-Cities has hit peak flu season.

"We've seen a rough season, so we've seen high numbers all season long, then last week was actually our highest numbers of the season so far," Director of Infection Prevention for Ballad Health said.

Ballad Health recorded 480 positive cases of the flu last week alone. They say pediatric cases have been on the rise.

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