Flu forces schools in Kentucky, Ohio to close

Posted at 12:32 AM, Feb 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-23 00:32:46-05

Influenza gave students in two states an early start to the weekend, although many won’t be well enough to enjoy it.

In Clermont County, Ohio, New Richmond Elementary School canceled Friday classes due to the number of students exhibiting symptoms. In Kentucky, Augusta Independent School did the same for Thursday and Friday.

While Augusta students stayed home, staffers got to work. Principal Robin Kelsch scrubbed doorknobs with disinfectant as part of a schoolwide sterilization effort before classes start again.

About 10 percent of the student body was ill when he made the decision to cancel classes, but he said doing so still wasn’t easy.

“We got a lot of kids to miss out on two hot meals and a warm place,” he said. “You know, we have a lot 75 percent free and reduced rate, so we don’t like our kids to be out.”

It was the best decision, school nurse Lou Ann Perkins said. Even when classes resume, she hopes parents will exercise caution and keep sick children home for the greater good.

“We don’t want them to come and infect the kids that aren’t sick already,” she said.