Powell County Schools close after surge in illness


All five of Powell County’s schools, and its alternative school, will be closed through November 8 after schools saw an uptick in illnesses. Powell County Schools Superintendent Sarah Wasson says, “We were sending a lot of children home sick and several of our staff were either sick themselves or they had children who were sick. So, we just got to the point where we couldn’t sustain being in school.”

This district’s superintendent says that they’ve seen an increase in the flu, RSV, and strep cases among students and staff. She says that they wanted to be cautious and make sure that nobody else got sick.

“We were just seeing a lot of people that really didn’t have the fever, maybe they didn’t even know they had the flu, or tested here and then had it. We just felt like for the health and safety of our students and staff it was better to be out right now,” says Wasson.

Nurse practitioners at the Raven Rock Health and Wellness Center say they’ve seen an increase in flu cases in the area — and distinguishing between COVID and the flu can be tough.

Nurse Practitioner Georgette Greene says, “The flu has definitely increased, and you know we’re having to order more supplies because we’re running out of flu tests.”

Powell County Schools will be returning on November 9. The superintendent says that there will be some changes to events that they have planned over the next few days and updates will be sent out.

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