Martin County Schools close due to illness

INEZ, Ky. (WYMT) - The flu outbreak has hit one Eastern Kentucky school district hard forcing them to close their doors. Martin County Schools were closed Thursday and will stay closed on Friday. Cleaning crews will work to sanitize all schools in the district.

Custodian George Dalton explains what they are doing to get students back in the classroom next week, “We are taking sanitizer to spray down the walls, we're using Clorox wipes to clean all the desks, tables, chairs, water fountains, everything in the restrooms, doorknobs, we're trying to kill these viruses quick.” Dalton has seen the effects of the rapidly spreading illness first hand, “I don't want to see the rest of these kids go through that, it is pure misery.”

School officials say they had no choice but to close their doors Thursday and Friday. Director of Pupil Personnel for Martin County Schools, Kraig Grayson, says there was a steady decline in attendance, “Monday we came back to school and our attendance was 89%, and that is bad. Tuesday it was 87%, Wednesday 85% and the progression was going to get worse.”

Cleaning crews started working at Inez Elementary when the school day ended Wednesday and the students went home for an unexpected long weekend. Principal Mike Cassady says, “The way the sickness spreads, you have to do something to be proactive.”

Officials know this will not solve the problem completely. Grayson says, “We know they're still going to be sick, it is not going to just get better over the weekend but hopefully more of them will be able to come to school.”

Officials do hope by sanitizing the schools and keeping students away from each other for a few days they will be able to stop the flu from spreading so quickly in their schools.

Martin County Schools will reopen on Monday.

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