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Bertha-Hewitt School closing Friday, Monday due to high number of influenza cases

Bertha-Hewitt School Principal Darren Glynn announced Thursday afternoon that the school will be closed Friday, Feb. 17 and Monday, Feb. 20 due to increased influenza symptoms and illnesses among students.

"We had over 50 kids out sick yesterday and we only have 450 kids at the school," Glynn said. "We're talking influenza, not just colds."

More than 50 students were also absent today due to illness. The school reports numbers of influenza cases to the Minnesota Department of Health and "they recommended we shut down for a couple days."

By closing the school Friday and Monday, the custodial staff will have a chance to do a full clean of the school and sanitize all surfaces, Glynn added.

"Hopefully we can start with a clean slate next week," he said.

Eagle Valley Schools in Clarissa announced it would also close Friday, Feb. 17 and Monday, Feb. 20.

"There has been a widespread increase in flu-like symptoms and confirmed cases of Influenza A in Minnesota this week, with a sharp increase in hospitalizations," the school posted on Facebook. "If your child acquires symptoms, it is imperative that you keep them home until they are symptom free for 24 hours."

Wadena-Deer Creek School District has seen a handful of cases but the number hasn't reached high levels like the Bertha-Hewitt School District, said Wadena-Deer Creek Superintendent Lee Westrum.

"We've been fortunate and I hope we're not next," he said.

Anna Erickson
Anna Erickson is editor of the Wadena Pioneer Journal.
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