MATTHEWS, N.C. - Carmel Christian School in Matthews will be closed Thursday and Friday after officials said more than 160 students called out sick Tuesday.
A school administrator said this is the first time in school history they have had to cancel school because of a flu-like outbreak.
"That's horrible,” said Tammy Corsino, who lives nearby. “That’s a large amount of children.”
Administrators hope the long weekend will allow sick students extra time to recover and prevent healthy students from being exposed to the flu.
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“Safeness is the way to go when it comes down to kids,” said Albert Corsino, who lives nearby. “Wouldn't want that to spread more."
School officials are going to great lengths to disinfect the campus. They’ve hired contractors to use a disinfecting misting machine often used in hospitals to sanitize every hallway, bathroom and classroom, in addition to wiping down every surface.
“That is a good school, a good decision,” Tammy Corsino said.
Experts said this flu season is the worst in years, with nearly double the amount of cases nationwide compared to last year.
Already, 20 people in North Carolina have died from the flu.
“Since we got the flu shot, I feel pretty safe,” Tammy Corsino said.
The state will release its updated flu report Thursday as the cleaning company will begin disinfecting Carmel Christian.
Students are already off Monday for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, so they won’t return to school until Tuesday.
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