Bishop Lynch HS reopens after flu outbreak

As school districts across the region close to sanitize classrooms and buses, some are looking at ways to try and stay one step ahead of the flu.

Officials at Bishop Lynch High School in Dallas are watching the numbers closely of those students and faculty reporting flu-like symptoms.

Students at Bishop Lynch returned to class on Monday for the first since the school closed last Thursday. It allowed four full days of a thorough scrub down and airing out.

“That makes sure that even if there is something that was missed, that the virus will naturally die on its own and it will give families a chance to hopefully heal and recover,” said Dr. Matthew Vereecke, superintendent of Catholic Schools in the Dallas Diocese.

In Lakewood, St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic School remains closed and will open back up on Tuesday.  Dr. Vereecke says strep throat has also been an issue in that community, putting extra importance on the number of sick.

“We are asking schools to let us know if we are seeing spikes in numbers,” the superintendent said. “If they are three percent today and six percent tomorrow, those are things that they are letting us know.”

Getting kids back in the classroom takes vigilance on all fronts, from tracking the sick to proactive cleaning.

In Waxahachie ISD, they’re using a relatively new weapon that looks right out of Star Wars.

“With the electrostatic charge as it's coming out of the nozzle, it's positively charged and then it will wrap around surfaces and even get surfaces that you aren't aiming at,” explained Mikel Craig with Waxahachie ISD.

The district recently invested in nine electrostatic sprayers that use dissolved chlorine tablets to easily zap bacteria and viruses like flu, strep and MRSA on everything from chairs to school buses.

“It's a two-edged sword,” Craig said. “You spend the money to do this. If it's working, you'll never know one way of the other. But is it worth it? Absolutely. We think so.”

DeSoto Janitorial sold the electrostatic sprayers to Waxahachie ISD. They said the technology for the sprayers has been around for a while and is mostly used to paint cars. But, it's now growing in popularity for disinfecting.

The electrostatic guns purchased by Waxahachie ISD run about $700 but can go up to the thousands the more space that needs to be covered.