Ashe County Schools students and staff resumed instruction on Feb. 10 after a deep cleaning of the facilities was conducted during the weekend due to a spike in influenza in the community.

That spike has been significant, said Tonya Greer, administrative assistant at Ashe County Schools, with schools reporting dozens of absences on the parts of both students and staff.

Ashe Memorial Hospital has also put visitor restrictions into place to prevent the spread of the flu. The hospital asks that those who are experiencing flu-like symptoms including fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, rashes, nausea, diarrhea or vomiting refrain from visiting patients and the facilities.

Melissa Lewis, director of Community Outreach at AMH confirmed that there have been no flu deaths.

“It’s hit all ages, it’s not discriminating by age, kids came first it seemed like and then the older ages started about that time and now it is affecting the middle ages since everybody else has been infected,” Lewis said.

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