Flu-like symptoms close Plainwell High School for a day

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BY DANIEL PEPPER

Plainwell school officials said school was closed Wednesday, May 14, to give staff time to take precautions against an outbreak of flu-like symptoms at the high school.

The district announced Tuesday, May 13, on its website the high school would be closed.

“We are approaching 20 percent absenteeism today at the high school and we need the time to thoroughly disinfect the building,” the district said.

Officials said it was a regular day for elementary and middle school students.

In a letter posted to the district’s website Tuesday, May 13, high school principal Jeremy Wright said an increased number of students and staff had been afflicted with vomiting and diarrhea.

“We have reported this incident to the health department and are following their recommendations,” Wright said.

The Allegan County Health Department is investigating.

Many people on social media have guessed the source was the school’s prom last weekend.

However, Wright said, there was no indication of a specific source.

“There has been a great deal of speculation on social media that has come to our attention,” Wright said. “At this point, most of it has proven false and inaccurate. Please don’t speculate until we are able to get all the facts available to us.”

He said the school was tracking the students who were sick and trying to analyze connections and would notify the health department of any findings.

Wright said parents would be notified as soon as any information came back from the health department.

To avoid the spread of flu:

• Wash hands regularly using soap and water

• Do not share personal items where germs can spread such as combs, ear buds, brushes, etc.

• Cover your mouth when coughing and sneezing

• Stay home from school when sick

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