NEW INFO: Flu Closing Fairview Independent Schools

By: Carrie Cline Email
By: Carrie Cline Email

UPDATE from 5pm Tuesday
BOYD COUNTY, Ky. (WSAZ) -- Sickness in school is expected, but one local school district is getting flooded with the flu.

They've fought and lost and decided the only way to cope is to shutdown -- in September. It's an early indication of the long road ahead.

“We had seven out last Friday and 12 out Monday. Today, we had 13 out,” teacher Tonya Raby said.

Students are dropping like flies from the flu in Tonya Raby's 4th grade class at Fairview Elementary just outside of Ashland.

“We're sanitizing everyday and spraying down the room and bleaching tables," Raby said. "But it’s not been very effective.”

From disinfecting door handles to handrails, it's not making much of a difference. Germs are spreading faster than the janitors can keep up.

“We have 130 out today, and that's a large number for us," School Superintendent Bill Musick said. "We’re usually at 95 percent attendance and now we’re down to 83 percent, which is phenomenally low."

That's what led Musick to a rather early call district wide. School already had been closed Friday for a professional development day, and officials decided to close Wednesday and Thursday, too, to allow kids a chance to get well.

“My 17-year-old came home last Wednesday sick, and we took him to the ER on Thursday," parent Missy Keesee said. "He had a headache, fever, aches and pains."

Now, Keesee hopes closing school down will prevent her other two children from following the same fate not just for the students' sake, but also the teachers.

“I started feeling bad on Saturday and I was down all day on Sunday and I was out Monday when my fever broke,” Raby said.

Fairview also took a financial hit. In Kentucky, schools are funded based on average daily attendance. The fewer children in school, the less critical dollars they receive. Fairview was losing $3,000 a day with the sinking attendance rate.

BOYD COUNTY, Ky. (WSAZ) -- The Fairview Independent School District in Boyd County will be closing the rest of the week due to the flu.

The spokesperson for the district, which includes an elementary and high school, says 130 students and staff were home sick on Tuesday.

Fairview will remain open Tuesday, but will be closed on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

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