School flu closures are spreading, hitting the southeast U.S. hardest

Powell County Schools near Lexington, Kentucky, has been closed all week "due to illness."

In what may be a sign of disruptions to come, school flu closures are spreading almost as rapidly as the illness—particularly in the Southeast. A 15% absentee rate due to the flu convinced administrators to shut down classrooms and make Friday an e-learning day at Albertville City Schools in Alabama.

Also in Alabama, Barbour County Schools is going remote Thursday and Friday “out of an abundance of caution” due to growing flu- and cold-like symptoms among students and staff, administrators said. The Perry County School District closed two schools until Nov. 7.

Multiple districts in Kentucky are also closed. Powell County Schools near Lexington has been closed all week “due to illness.” Jackson Independent School District, also in Eastern Kentucky, went remote on Wednesday and Thursday and is closed Friday. Magoffin County Schools is closed until Nov. 9.

“Our school nurse and secretary were continuing to call us and let us know students were coming in with 101-and-above temperatures. So those students were sent home,” Jackson Independent Schools Superintendent Wayne Sizemore told WKYT.

Nearby, Madison County Schools is closed Friday and its students will be on remote learning Monday. The administrators’ decision to close was supported by many commentators on the district’s Facebook page.

In Virginia, Alleghany Highlands Public Schools closed an elementary school due to a large number of probable flu cases.

School flu closures began mounting last month, far eclipsing a tiny faction of shutdowns caused by COVID. Administrators also blamed the spread of RSV for the increasing disruptions seen in Alabama North Carolina and Virginia, among other states. These closures have school administrators across the nation bracing for a severe flu season.

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Matt Zalaznick
Matt Zalaznick
Matt Zalaznick is a life-long journalist. Prior to writing for District Administration he worked in daily news all over the country, from the NYC suburbs to the Rocky Mountains, Silicon Valley and the U.S. Virgin Islands. He's also in a band.

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