Increased flu activity closes down schools

Local News

WASHINGTON Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – D.J Bechtel, a custodian with Washington Community Schools said he spent the majority of the day Thursday cleaning the schools one section at a time after increased flu activity led to a two-day closure.

Before becoming a custodian, Bechtel was once a student at Washington High School, and he cannot recall another instance when illness caused the school district to close.

“I don’t believe I remember it shutting down like it is now,” he said.

Bechtel said cleaning staff will spend the next two days disinfecting each school in their district.

This all comes after the Daviess County Health Department called for the school to shut down. School officials said the schools will not reopen until Monday. The decision was made as a precautionary measure to prevent the flu from spreading.

Steve Peterson, Washington High School principal, said the number of students in classrooms kept going down. He noted the high school usually has 8-10% of the student body out for health related problems, but recently that number had doubled to around 18%.

“I believe that the elementary schools are actually a little bit higher than that,” he noted.

Indiana schools have all been hit especially hard this year, according to Public Health Nurse Kathy Sullender.

She said without the close contact with others, students and teachers will have time to recover and regain their health.

Thursday and Friday were designated e-learning days, preventing students and faculty from having to make up the days later in the year.

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