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Hancock County school system shuts down due to illness

Eastern Hancock's students and staff staying home
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Posted at 3:17 PM, Mar 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-04 15:17:05-05

HANCOCK COUNTY — Eastern Hancock Superintendent David Pfaff says he's never seen anything like it in his 41-years with the school system.

The number of sick students reached a point Wednesday where Pfaff had to close the district's high school, middle and elementary schools. All schools will also be closed Thursday. A decision on whether to resume classes Friday will be made Thursday afternoon.

There are 1,200 students in the district, plus teachers and other staff. During the closure, students are using their Chromebooks for e-learning days at home.

Pfaff used state guidelines that call for schools to be closed when the absentee rate hits 20%. He wants to stress that this is not an outbreak of coronavirus. Students have the common flu, strep throat, bronchitis and other ailments.

With buses not running and schools closed, Eastern Hancock is doing a deep cleaning, according to Pfaff. Classrooms, common areas and buses are being scrubbed down.