New Jersey district closes schools due to large number of sick students

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Michelle Charlesworth reports on a New Jersey district closing schools due to a large number of sick kids.

A New Jersey school district remains closed Monday due to a large number of recent student absences with respiratory/flu-like symptoms and gastrointestinal illnesses.

Michele Cone, superintendent of the Clinton Township School District in Hunterdon County, says too many students have gotten sick over the past few days, prompting the decision to close all schools so that they can be cleaned and disinfected.

"We are experiencing a large number of student absences due to respiratory/flu and gastrointestinal illnesses," Cone wrote in a letter to parents. "Unfortunately, we are also experiencing a large number of students being sent to school before they have fully recovered, putting themselves and others at risk...Although the NJ State Health Department is not recommending closure, we feel that this step is in the best interest of our students.

Schools were also closed on Friday.

"Another consideration is the impact on instruction caused by this high degree of absenteeism," Cone wrote. "In order to allow our students to recover and limit exposure to illnesses, as well as deep clean and disinfect, we have made the choice to close all district schools."

All after-school activities were also postponed and will be rescheduled.

"We cannot overemphasize the importance of keeping a sick child home," Cone wrote. "Anyone with a fever must be 'fever free,' without using fever reducing medications, for a full 24 hours. The spread of illness through exposure has become a major concern for both students and staff."

Schools are expected to reopen Tuesday.

"We do understand the difficulty it can present with child care and work obligations, however, it is imperative that we limit contact with children that have become ill," Cone wrote. "We deeply appreciate your understanding and cooperation in keeping our children and staff safe and healthy."

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healthfluflu seasonflu preventionstudentsschoolHunterdon County
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