Flu outbreak closes several West Michigan schools

Posted at 8:01 PM, Jan 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-29 08:59:12-05

At least 5 schools have closed due to illness this flu season.

So far, we talked to the Holland Public Schools communications director Jason Craner, after Holland West Elementary closed for three days last week. We have received tips that three other schools have closed their doors between Wednesday January 29 until Monday, February 3, for illness.

In a letter to parents and staff, Mendon Community Schools Superintendent Leasa Griffith said over 20 percent of the elementary has called off sick.The closure includes the dlementary school and middle/high school. FOX 17 learned that Hesperia Community Schools and Zeeland Cityside Middle School will also be closed through the weekend.

At Holland, it was 90 students and staff out sick. When we spoke to Craner, he told us no one was even allowed in the building during the closure unless they were with the cleaning crews. The Holland schools have since reopened.

Zeeland reported 140 students absent due to respiratory and stomach illnesses. Attendance at the rest of the district is over 90 percent, and all other Zeeland schools will remain open.

Constantine High School in St. Joseph County was closed Monday and Tuesday, according to their Facebook page. The closures are at the advice of the department in each district, and cleaning crews will be in the buildings sanitizing everything possible.

The schools will be closed for class and activities through January 31. Normal activity should resume February 3.

During flu season, the easiest way to avoid the spread of germs is to wash your hands with warm water and soap for at least 30 seconds (or the time it takes to say your ABCs), clean commonly touched surfaces such as door handles, remotes, banisters, counter tops, and car interiors, and be sure to change and wash all bedding. It's also wise to take this time to clean backpacks and outer gear, as well as wipe down books and binders, especially if you or your student are sick.

More information on the closure at Mendon Community Schools can be found here. Information for Zeeland's Closure can be found here, and information on Hesperia's closing was announced on their Facebook page.