The Flu is spreading so fast in one Tennessee County that Wilson County Schools have canceled classes for the rest of this week because more than 2,000 students and 138 teachers were out sick on Monday.
“Obviously, we don’t close school for almost an entire week, unless the situation is very serious," Director of Schools Donna Wright said. "The last thing we want is for this to spread to even more students and staff. Hopefully these 4 days off, plus the weekend, and the holiday on Monday will give everyone time to recuperate and come back well.”
A Wilson County bus driver was also hospitalized with pneumonia and the flu, Wilson County Schools spokeswoman Jennifer Johnson said. Student attendance ran 88.3 percent on Monday, Johnson said.
The district has 10 stockpile days that can also be used for inclement weather, Johnson said.
The school days canceled for illness will not be made up "unless we run out," Johnson said. School will resume Tuesday, Feb. 21, with no classes for students already scheduled in the district calendar Monday.
Districts that use stockpile days are required to notify the Tennessee Department of Education, spokeswoman Sara Gast said.
Multiple school districts in Tennessee have also had to close in recent days for illness, the majority in East Tennessee according to the Tennessee Department of Education.
Maury County was closed Friday and Monday and will reopen Tuesday, Director Christopher Marczak said. The Dickson and Giles county school districts were also closed Monday for illness and will open Tuesday according to officials.
DeKalb, Smith, Humphreys, Warren, Clay, Humphreys and McMinn counties are among other districts that have dealt with closures from illness.
The Tennessee Department of Health has seen an increase in seasonal flu activity in recent weeks, but said it is typical for the time of year and is not investigating any outbreaks, according to spokeswoman Shelley Walker.
"January and February are the months when Tennessee typically sees the most seasonal flu cases," Walker said.
Wilson County Schools Kid's Club locations will all remain open this week.
No athletic events involving Wilson County teams were canceled, including the 9-AAA district basketball tournament scheduled to start Wednesday at Lebanon High School.
The Lebanon Special School District was still monitoring absences and illness, but Director Scott Benson said last 12 days have run 95 percent or better.