Clinton Township School District closes schools due to large numbers of sick students



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CLINTON TOWNSHIP, New Jersey (WABC) –

A New Jersey school district remains closed on Monday because of a large number of recent absences from students with respiratory / influenza and gastrointestinal illness.

Michele Cone, superintendent of the Clinton Township school district in Hunterdon County, says many students have fallen ill in recent days, prompting them to close all schools so they can be cleaned and disinfected.

"We are experiencing a large number of student absentees due to respiratory and gastrointestinal diseases," Cone wrote in a letter to parents. "Unfortunately, we are also experiencing a large number of students being sent to school before they recover, putting themselves and others at risk … Although the New Jersey State Department of Health is not recommending closure, we find what better interest of our students.

The schools were also closed on Friday.

"Another consideration is the impact on instruction caused by this high degree of absenteeism," Cone wrote. "In order to enable our students to recover and limit exposure to disease, as well as clean and disinfect deeply, we have made the choice to close all schools in the district."

All after-school activities have also been postponed and will be rescheduled.

"We can not overemphasize the importance of keeping a sick child at home," Cone wrote. "Anyone with a fever should be fever-free without using drugs to reduce fever for 24 hours. Spreading the disease through exposure has become a major concern for both students and staff."

Schools are due to reopen on Tuesday.

"We understand the difficulty it can present with child care and work obligations, however, it is imperative that we limit contact with children who have become ill," Cone wrote. "We deeply appreciate your understanding and cooperation in keeping our children and staff safe and healthy."

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