The flu has hit hard in North Idaho’s Silver Valley. The Kellogg School District has closed all of the district schools because of influenza.
The number of students with flu has dramatically increased in the past week.
Kellogg Superintendent William Woodford says the absentee rate at one of the schools hit 39 percent before he closed it on Wednesday.
“I was seeing absenteeism of 28% in the other elementary building, 19% in the middle school, and about 20% in the high school. My combined absentee rate across the district was 28%,” says Woodford.
Woodford says the Panhandle Health District recommended closing the schools if they sustained a 20% absentee rate, and he decided to shut all the schools down until Monday.
In the meantime, he says staff is engaged in a deep cleaning of all classrooms and buses. He says he will reevaluate the situation on Monday.
“There’s no guarantee when we reconvene on Monday (January 15) that things are going to have improved, and if they haven’t improved, we will reassess on Monday if we have to take additional action,” he said.
Superintendent Woodford says he hopes parents will try to keep any sick students at home so they don’t pass their illness along to others.