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Mona Shores cancels all classes Friday as influenza numbers are on the rise in Muskegon County

Mona Shores Public Schools

District says it ‘simply’ did not have the staff to cover the number of sick employees

In a statement on its’ website, Mona Shores Public Schools said it made the decision to keep kids home Friday because it “simply do not have the staff to fill” its classrooms, as the district says around 40 staff members called out sick.

Part of the problem, officials say, is the shortage of substitute teachers this school year which has plagued districts across West Michigan; the other, an aggressive flu-season so far.

Kathy Moore is Muskegon County’s public health officer.

“We are seeing those numbers increase, trickle upward for sure,” Moore said. “But it is a combination we are seeing COVID, a peak of influenza as well as RSV cases."

The good news, she says, is that RSV numbers have started to drop off from last month, when hospitals were flooded with toddlers and babies.

The bad news, not enough people are getting the flu shot season this for one reason or another; the speculation being, that people are tired of needles and COVID-19 vaccine boosters.

Moore says, getting a COVID vaccine does not protect against getting the flu.

“These are distinctly different viruses,” Moore said. “They do have some similar symptoms, but the best protection (against influenza) is to get vaccinated, and of course, taking all those other layered precautions.”

Health officials say, so far this flu season, 2.5 million people have been administered the influenza vaccine, about a million and a half short of the state’s goal.

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