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6 Big Country school districts closed Friday due to excessive, widespread illness

At least six school districts in the Big Country will be closed Friday because of “excessive” and “widespread” illness.

Colorado ISD, Cisco ISD, Gorman ISD and Rising Star ISD all announced Thursday that there will be no school tomorrow. Two other districts -- Eastland and Santa Anna -- previously announced they would be closed Thursday and Friday.

Colorado ISD Superintendent Reggy Spencer told KTXS that 23 percent of the student body and 20 percent of staff is out sick with the flu. The district will also be closed Monday.


Gorman ISD Superintendent Mike Winter sent a letter home to parents saying the district will close "due to the ongoing flu, stomach bug, and other illnesses going around."

"During this day off, I am asking all staff to help disinfect their rooms, hallways, lockers, and all other school facilities," Winter said.

Rising Star ISD Superintendent Joe Branham said 36 of their 165 students are out sick with flu, strep throat and flu-like illnesses.

The elementary campus started the day with seven sick kids.. By 2 p.m., that number jumped to 22 after a nurse started checking temperatures.

Branham said the custodial staff will clean all desks, door knobs and bathrooms. They'll set off "disinfectant bombs" as well.

KTXS has reached out to Cisco ISD Superintendent Kelly West to find out how many kids are out sick there and due to what types of illnesses.

Even though Cisco schools are closed, "extracurricular activities scheduled will go on as planned."

Eastland ISD and Santa Anna ISD are both closed today and tomorrow because of widespread absences due to the flu, stomach bug and flu-like viruses.

Eastland ISD Superintendent Jason Cochran said 15 percent of their 1,160 students and a “large portion” of their staff are out sick.

Santa Anna ISD said they had 48 students absent Wednesday with flu and flu-like illnesses. That is 18 percent of their student body.

Last week, Rotan ISD and Hermleigh ISD closed for the same reason.

Earlier this week, Abilene ISD said its flu-related absences had tripled.

Brownwood ISD posted a message on its Facebook page

If you know about a school district that is closing due to a high number of absences, email news@ktxs.com.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, every state except Hawaii, and the District of Colombia, have "widespread" flu activity.


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