Bath County crews deep clean school after large number of students, teachers out sick

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BATH COUNTY, Va. (WFXR News) – Bath County Schools are closed Tuesday and Wednesday because so many teachers and students have been out sick.

So the administration decided to spend the time waging war against germs while those who were sick recuperate.

They sent a letter home, posted the letter on Facebook, had a robocall, and sent an automated text. The letter explained the decision to close.

“We’re disinfecting everything that doesn’t move,” said Bathe County High School Principal Dr. Michael Perry.

“It’s important because we want to do everything we can do to stop it.”

Dr. Perry says they started seeing a big number of students out sick last week but then yesterday he says about 30 percent were out.

“We had several people out at the beginning of the day and then it was just a constant drip into the office of students saying they were feeling bad and checking out,” Dr. Perry said.

It’s something superintendent Sue Hirsh had been monitoring, she would contact all the schools in the district and ask for their number of absences. After Monday she decided to close school for two days to let those who were sick recover and have crews clean all the schools in the district.

“This is a, I think, a first. not for inclement weather, we’ve had as many as 20 in a year,” said Hirsh.

The cleaning isn’t just for the students, but there was also a large number of teachers out and not enough substitutes to go around.

“We want to be able to staff our schools so that we can deliver quality instruction and if we don’t have the people to do that, well you’re basically just putting students together in a classroom and babysitting them,” said Dr. Perry.

The custodial staff already cleans the schools on a regular basis, but this was just giving them a chance to do even more to kill any harmful germs.

“We do disinfect tables and chairs, we do all that every day anyway, but now we have extra time to get into nooks and crannies and do what we need to do,” said Dr. Perry.

They are hoping that after the two days, the students will come back feeling better and they are able to take extra steps like washing their hands and using hand sanitizer to prevent the spread of germs.


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