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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

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2/8/2014 1:08:00 PM
Winter illness spreads at COCSD

Yvonne Gonzalez
Staff Reporter

COTTONWOOD - It's been three weeks of 12 or more staff members calling in sick at the Cottonwood-Oak Creek School District.

Tricia Winters, district administrative assistant and governing board executive secretary, said according to substitute caller Rhonda Kester, 15 to 20 teachers and substitutes are out daily.

People are testing positive for Type A flu, bronchitis and a stomach virus.

"Over the course of the last two weeks, it's been a challenge finding substitutes, but we have been able to cover classrooms within the district," Winters said.

Between 25 and 60 students are calling out daily due to illness at each of the district's schools.

District nurse Robert Clark said children should wash hands frequently and cough into elbows. Hand sanitizer is available in each classroom, and students are encouraged to use it whenever entering class.

Students will be sent home if they have a fever above 99.5, vomit or have diarrhea, and can return to school when they've been symptom-free for 24 hours, according to district policy.

Follow the reporter on Twitter @ymgonzal and Instagram @VerdeValleyNews

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Reader Comments

Posted: Monday, February 10, 2014
Article comment by: @ VIRAL VECTOR

"Between 25 and 60 students are calling out daily due to illness at each of the district's schools."

Read the article before you freak out, it is very clearly stated. And yes, kids do spread illness and yes, sometimes sick kids go to school. As a parent, I have never sent a child with fever or vomiting to school knowingly, however, it is easy to say "Keep them home" for some people. For me, that means a day of lost wages. Too many of those and my kids and I don't have a home to keep to. Also, sometimes, you just don't feel super good first thing in the morning. Sometimes you just don't feel super good all day. You still have to get up and do what needs to be done. Wash your hands, cover your cough and get on with life.

Posted: Sunday, February 9, 2014
Article comment by: Viral Vector

What's the vector here? Children. The article doesn't mention how many kids are out sick. Probably not that many. Why? Because parents KNOWINGLY SEND SICK KIDS TO SCHOOL..
They tell their kids "see how you feel by lunch and if you're not feeling OK go to the nurse."
There are at least three problems with this. First, all morning long, these kids have been sneezing and coughing on everyone else. Second, they haven't been learning anything because SICK KIDS CAN'T LEARN and belong at home, in bed. Last, and I bet most parents aren't aware of this, the "nurse" at least in COCSD, isn't a nurse at all. She's a partially trained bandaid and cough drop dispenser, not someone trained with any diagnostic skills at all. This is not the fault of the health aides, it is the fault of a district board and administration that decided that actual nurses are too expensive.
Leave it up to the "nurse" to decide if your kid is sick or not? Are you kidding me?
Schools know how difficult it is for parents to take time off to stay home with sick kids, but they are distinctly NOT day care or health care centers. One way or the other, sick children belong at home.

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