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Spike in flu and other illnesses leads to closure of some eastern KY schools.


Public schools in the commonwealth have been monitoring an uptick in respiratory illnesses and the flu over the past few weeks. Due to the illnesses, at least two school systems have canceled classes for the rest of this week. Students at Powell and Wayne counties schools will return to class next week.

Sarah Wasson is the superintendent of Powell County Schools. She said the flu appears to be the main cause of illness along with some other viruses.

“We also have heard of students with RSV, and strep and other illnesses as well. Our attendance just was dropping and our staff and students both were ill, so we wanted to shut to try and improve the health of both,” said Wasson.

She said they made the call once attendance got too low.

“Prior to COVID we would try to go until we were around the 85% range or so because that is when things started dropping off and getting bad. Right now, our overall attendance percentage isn’t as high as it used to be before COVID so we have to look at everything individually.”

Wasson said Powell County schools had gotten to just over 74% attendance. They will be returning to class on Wednesday November 9th. Wayne County schools were also at 74% attendance when they closed. Students there will return on Monday, November 7th.

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Stan Ingold is WEKU's News Director. He has worked in public broadcasting for 18 years, starting at Morehead State Public Radio before spending the past 10 years at Alabama Public Radio. Stan has been honored with numerous journalism awards for his public radio reporting.
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