What does it take to close a school for illness?

UPDATE: Director of Schools Michael Davis announced Wednesday afternoon that Hardin County Schools will be closed Thursday and Friday, February 7-8, due to illnesses.

Earlier story:

HARDIN COUNTY, Tenn. — Across West Tennessee, schools districts are calling off class not because of weather, but because of illness.


In the second full week of February, Lexington City Schools, McNairy County Schools, University School of Jackson and Trinity Christian Academy all closed for multiple days.

They reported anywhere from 17 to 21 percent of students being out due to the flu and other illnesses.

Hardin County Schools Superintendent Michael Davis says they have been tracking these numbers starting in February.

At first, the numbers showed the illness levels relatively low compared to the rest of West Tennessee. However, on Monday, they recorded 11.1 percent of students out across the county. That was the highest percentage they had since they started tracking it. Tuesday, the percentage started to fall: 10.6 percent of students were absent.

Michael Davis says he is currently at a conference with superintendents from across the state. He says after discussing the matter with these other leaders, the percentage of students absent that deems schools should close is typically 15 percent.

Davis says until then, Hardin County Schools will remain open. He says the cleaning staff at all the schools are using hospital-grade disinfectant.

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