INEZ, Ky. – Poor attendance due to sickness prompted Martin County Schools to cancel school for the remainder of this week.
The decision was announced as illnesses such as the flu, strep, and stomach virus continue to plague the region.
Monday afternoon, the Martin County Board of Education released the following statement on their BOE website, “Due to sickness across our county and very poor attendance in our schools, we have made the decision to cancel school the rest of the week to give our staff and students time to get better. Schools will be closed February 21 – 24; however Thursday, February 23, will be a NTI Day for students.”
The Pike County Board of Education also recently made the decision to close schools for a short period of time to allow time to sanitize the school and give students a chance to get well before returning to class. On Wednesday, February 15, Pike County Schools announced that school would be close due to illness. The alert stated, “Thursday 2/16/17 will be an NTI day for Pike Co Schools, teachers report to schools as directed. Friday 2/17/17 will be a No School day due to illness.”
Parents in Mingo County Schools have questioned the Mingo County Board of Education’s decision to keep schools open during the recent increase in illness throughout the region. Last week, the Williamson Daily News received phone calls in relation to the BOE’s decision.
However, the Mingo County BOE explained that due to the localized nature of illness in our school system, schools would remain open. Precautionary measures such as additional cleaning, and providing Clorox wipes and hand sanitizer to teachers has been utilized to help prevent the spread of illness. Superintendent of Mingo County Schools, Don Spence, previously issued the following statement when first questioned about closing schools in Mingo County due to illness, “The Mingo County Board of Education, the county nurse and custodial staff are taking preventative measures to stop the flu from spreading. We have had some confirmed cases in some of our schools. Our county nurse has been in contact with each of our principals and is monitoring closely. Principals have been given guidelines for additional cleanings.”
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website states that flu activity is on the rise nationwide. The website states, “Influenza activity is still rising in the U.S. and is expected to continue for several weeks. CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone 6 months and older. This season’s flu vaccines are reducing risk of illness by nearly half. Anyone who had not yet gotten vaccinated this season should do it now. CDC also recommends prompt treatment with influenza antiviral drugs for people who are very sick with flu or people who are at high risk of flu illness who get flu.”
For more information on the flu and tips on flu prevention, visit https://www.cdc.gov/flu/.
Courtney Harrison is a news reporter for the Williamson Daily News. She can be contacted at [email protected] or at 304-235-4242 ext. 2279.