Portage la Prairie Superintendent Todd Cuddington says it has been a tough year for staff and students dealing with cold and flu season.

He illustrates that nothing is coming from public health but would still hope everyone remembers the lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Be mindful of your health when you're coming to school. We're still taking those regular precautions, encouraging hand washing, using sanitizer, and ensuring we're covering your coughs."

Cuddington tells PortageOnline that the division had younger students impacted by some respiratory illnesses that have made their rounds.

file photoPortage la Prairie Superintendent Todd Cuddington.

"We had a lot of strep in our schools over the last while, sore throat, and then this long, lingering cold that seemed to have people down. It seemed like three weeks was the minimum."

He notes that he is proud of staff who also felt the effects of cold and flu season for powering through.

"With a significant shortage of subs, that put an added burden on our teachers to try and cover, so we're hoping the worst of the flu season is behind us. I think we put a lot of burden on some of our staff for coverage. But I think it's a reality in rural areas right now that there's a pretty significant staff shortage on the substitute teacher side. So, we're hoping that we can continue to try our best to staff those positions, but it's a struggle."