The H1N1 virus is keeping more and more area kids out of school. Some districts seeing a triple increase of absences for this time of year.
At Lubbock Cooper ISD, the number of absences have tripled for this time of year. And in smaller districts, the number of kids absent are nearly double.
School health officials tell us they are considering this all because of H1N1, but are urging parents not to panic. Obviously, there are other reasons children may be out.
Officials say if you're child is exhibiting any flu-like symptoms, go ahead, keep them home, and get them to the doctor.
Better safe than sorry -- several districts tell us they're being more lenient when counting absences.
Pat Coleman, Director of Health Services, Lubbock Cooper ISD: "Some of them have been out for 7 full days because they can't get rid of that fever. Parents are keeping them home, and we're going to work with those kids so that the influenza symptoms aren't held against them later in the year."
Nancy Sharp, LISD: If a student is sick, they need to stay home. And we're going to deal with the other end of it later. We're going to make sure they get caught up in school, but we want them to be well. Because a kid that's not feeling well, is not going to be a good learner."
We're told there's also been some parent concern on whether school's will shut down because of so many absences. Health officials tell us not to worry -- it's very unlikely that will happen here in Lubbock.