Seven Indiana schools have closed due to the flu so far. And several others are reporting high absentee rates. But state education officials say there’s no cause for concern.
Adam Baker, spokesperson for the Indiana Department of Education, says this is normal for this time of year.
“So, we have not seen anything that is astronomical,” Baker says. “Any increase that would, you know, cause grave concern across the state.”
Baker says schools in Indiana must report student absences greater than 20 percent to the Department of Education and the local health department.
“We get involved to sort of discuss what are some next steps, what are some possibilities?" Baker says. “What is the illness you’re seeing, what is keeping the kids from being absent?”
Baker says several of the schools that have closed have smaller populations, so a 20 percent absentee rate is more likely. He says closures are necessary to contain the illness and disinfect the school.
Schools that closed are spread around the state and include all grade levels.