SPLENDORA, Texas - As many communities in southeast Texas try to fend off the flu, one district says they've waged war against the illness.
Splendora ISD has added extra cleaning measures both inside and outside the classroom.
In a district with more than 4,000 students, district officials say they've only reported 34 cases of confirmed flu since the start of 2018.
The district credits its amped up fight against influenza.
"This is a war we're waging on germs," said Splendora ISD custodial director Veronica Castille.
She calls her crew the "germ warriors," and they have a list of tactics to keep germs from spreading.
Workers wipe down surfaces with hospital grade disinfectant after children go home each day. They also entice the kids to use more soap and water with sticker rewards.
"Once they see they're going to get a sticker, they keep coming and washing their hands, so that's a good buy-in," said Castille.
And for the first time this flu season, they have a machine that blows disinfectant mist through the air.
"The mister is a very fine mist. You can reach everything in the room that you can't reach with a rag or a wipe, and it's just the fastest, best way to cover all your bases when you're trying to fight germs," said Castille.
According to Castile, the mist is safe for students. Using sodium chloride and water, the machine electro-chemically converts the chloride into free chlorine.
The district uses it daily on buses between the morning and afternoon routes for the past three weeks. The mister is also used in classrooms after a student goes home sick.
"They give us a room number. I send one of my people with the mister, and they mist the entire room," Casille explained.
Superintendent Jeff Burke credits his custodial team with keeping the schools open.
"We have seen other districts across the state have to shut down, and that's not something that we would ever want to do," Burke vowed.
The district plans to keep up the fight through the end of the year.