SCHOOL PATROL: Hamilton County schools closed for deep cleaning
Friday many schools closed due to the flu, including Hamilton County. Crews spent the day cleaning facilities from top to bottom.
This flu season has been called the worst in the last decade, from high fevers, coughing and the chills are just some of the symptoms many people are dealing with right now.
Friday many schools closed due to the flu, including Hamilton County. One week ago, several schools were closed in the Channel 3 viewing area with the exception of Hamilton County. They said, at the time they could handle the number of students and staff they had out. However, this week more people were out forcing them to close.
There are no school bells today at Eastside Elementary School, just the sounds of contractors spraying down every inch of Hamilton County’s 85 facilities.
"From the classrooms, cafeterias to wiping desks down, wiping doors down," said Dennis Willis with ABM Facility Services.
School officials said they've seen absences rise since Christmas, more and more students and faculty are out with the pesky flu virus. This week they saw a significant spike.
"This is one where you see more teachers out and kids. This is one of the worst I’ve seen,” Willis said.
The flu bug continues to have a significant impact on the region. Up until now, the district said they didn't have to close schools because the illness was concentrated in certain communities, but now it's become widespread in several schools in the system. This day off will allow crews to get ahead of the virus.
"That helps us in a lot of ways, we can go in when no one is in and sanitize the entire building from the top to bottom,” he explained.
No desk or textbook will go unturned. Crews are spraying, wiping and disinfecting all classrooms and common areas. They focus on areas trouble spots they refer to as "touch points."
"Anything that kids touch when they come in like the doors, windows, water fountains that type of thing,” Willis explained.
This team will work until about midnight on Friday to make sure every school is germ-free. It’s important work for them so students can get back to their schoolwork.
"We have kids, we have grandkids in these schools and we want to make sure that everyone can come into a clean environment in these schools,” he said.
Flu cases are up by more than 70 percent compared to this time last year in Hamilton County and we're not out of the clear yet some experts say the flu season could last until this spring.
So far, no makeup days are required for Hamilton County students, the district has now used six of its eight built-in days this school year.