Cleveland Schools Cancel Classes After Flu Outbreak
CLEVELAND, Oklahoma - Cleveland Schools canceled classes Tuesday because of a flu outbreak.
Cleveland Primary School was one of four Cleveland schools that closed.
Tuesday should be a school day but the halls at Cleveland Primary School, usually filled with elementary school students, are empty.
"Starting about last week, we started getting some big flu numbers coming in, namely out of this building,” said Cleveland Schools Superintendent Aaron Espolt.
School employees have spent the last two days sanitizing everything, from lockers to water fountains, all in an attempt to control the largest flu outbreak Espolt says the district has ever dealt with.
"Friday before break, oh, about 36 confirmed flu cases in this building with over 100 students out,” Espolt recalled. “So, we knew we had an epidemic on our hands.”
More than 300 children go to school in the area, which means about 30 percent of the students attending school at Cleveland Primary were out with the flu on Friday. That's not including the 15 teachers district-wide who were also out sick.
"I really just credit our custodians, our cafeteria workers, our teachers, our staff, doing everything they can,” said Espolt. "I appreciate parents; they are sending Clorox wipes, Clorox spray as well."
Espolt says he was hoping those numbers would go down over the long weekend, but on Sunday they kept rising, and with the frigid weather, he made the decision to cancel school.
"Most flu symptoms of the flu virus live for about 48 hours away from the body, so we feel that this four days being out definitely allows us to control it here on our end,” he said. "If you are feeling like you have the flu, or if you have any symptoms, please stay home."
Espolt says all four schools will be back open Wednesday at normal time.