Kansas school district closed due to widespread illness

Posted: Updated:

A school district in Marion County has will be closed for the rest of the week due to widespread illness.

Goessel USD 411 is experiencing high absence rates due to the flu and stomach issues. Superintendent John Fast said more than 50% of students have been absent from some classes.

"We probably had another 20 students who were here in school who probably should've been home in that time," Fast said. "We have consulted with our Marion County Health Department and we know that we are dealing with a highly contagious germ."

All classes, activities and practices are canceled for Thursday and Friday. Classes will resume on Tuesday, after Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

While students are out of class, school maintenance employees are spraying every surface with disinfectant.

"Our students need rest and to be away from an environment where the germs are spreading," Fast said. "Our apologies for any convenience, but we believe this decision is the most responsible option we have to help our student body and staff get well again."

It isn't just Goessel Schools: according to health experts, this year's flu vaccine isn't a very good match for the main flu strain, and children are particularly susceptible to it.

Still, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases says a flu shot can save a child's life.

The school district encourages parents to help their children get plenty of rest, drink lots of fluids and avoid contract with those who are sick. 

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