Flu shots

According to updated numbers provided by Shakopee Public Schools, four schools have seen an increase in flu-related absences, while five schools have seen a decrease.

"The Shakopee school district is encouraged that West Middle School and Sun Path Elementary, the two buildings of significant concern, have seen a drop in the number of (influenza-like illnesses) reported on Wednesday," a statement from the district said. 

West Middle School on Monday reported that 32% of its student population, or 377 students, were out with flu-related symptoms. On Tuesday, 29% of students were out, and Wednesday it's down to 22%. 

Sun Path Elementary School, which also reported more than 100 flu-related absences, has seen a decline from 20% absent on Tuesday to a little more than 18% on Wednesday. 

However, Sweeney Elementary, East Middle and Red Oak Elementary each show flu-related absences above 5% — the threshold that requires districts to report the absences to the Minnesota Department of Health — and those percentages have been on the rise since Monday. Sweeney Elementary School is in the steepest incline, with 10% of its students now out with flu-related symptoms. 

A spokesman for the Minnesota Department of Health said influenza strain B has been circulating across the state lately, so there's a good chance that same strain is what hit Shakopee this week, but the department does not have Shakopee-exclusive data to confirm this.

“As always, we encourage parents and guardians to keep their students home if they are exhibiting flu-related symptoms,” Superintendent Mike Redmond said in a statement. “We are taking the necessary precautions, and will continue to monitor the situation and take appropriate action, as needed.”

Maddie DeBilzan graduated with a journalism degree from Bethel University. She’s interned at Salon Media and the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Outside of work, she sifts through Goodwill clothing racks, listens to Ben Rector's music and goes on long runs.

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