KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — There have been a lot of school closings lately. While a handful has been due to weather and road conditions, several school systems have said they’ve been closed due to illnesses spreading across the region.
One of the school systems impacted was Anderson County.
Ryan Sutton with Anderson County Schools said, “late last week we noticed that there were schools that couldn’t fill classrooms with substitute teachers. We had one school with almost up words of one-third of their staff members out and we were having to combine classes and that wasn’t the best for instruction.”
Anderson County Schools closed its doors last Friday and then again on Monday.
“We do have quite a bit of illness around our district spreading in almost all of our schools, some worst than others. We have the flu going around, as well as strep throat, the Rotavirus, and COVID is rearing its ugly head again,” Sutton added.
So far, the school system has used three out of ten non-instructional days that are built into their school calendar.
“We’re just trying to slow that illness spread down as well as cover our classrooms with our substitutes,” Sutton stated.
Anderson County Schools are looking for more substitute teachers. If you would like to apply, click here.
Meanwhile, the Knox County School System has remained open. In the past week, both student and staff attendance numbers have been at or above 90%. They say they’re monitoring student and staff absences and are working closely with the Knox County Health Department for guidance regarding flu activity and other illnesses in the area.
“A lot of the things that we expect to be seeing now like RSV or flu and COVID or even things like common cold are not reportable conditions that we have certain numbers for, but it is that time of year so to say,” said Doctor Corinne Tandy with the Knox County Health Department.
Tandy wants to remind everyone of basic hygiene and said to stay home if they feel sick.
“A lot of the recommendations we make to reduce your risk of illness of getting RSV, of getting flu, cold, any of these respiratory viruses, and things like stomach viruses all these infection preventions is the same. It reduces being near people who are coughing and hand washing. So interventions like masks among other things like hand washing and staying home when your sick reduce the likelihood of all of these infections, not only COVID.”
Tandy also said to make sure to talk to your doctor if you have any concerns about what’s going on with your health.