Fairfield Local Superintendent Tim Dettwiller announced Monday afternoon that the school district is closing for the remainder of this week.
“We not closing due to Covid, we’re closing due to kids being out of school for a large variety of reasons,” Dettwiller said.
He said the school district had 33 students our of school due to sickness last Tuesday and those numbers kept climbing until about 140 students — or approximately 16 percent of the student population — were out of class Monday.
He most of the absences were due to a “rhinovirus” that’s causing vomiting and diarrhea, along with and a bronchial infection, and a few are quarantined due to close to contact to people with COVID-19.
“That’s just sick kids, not kids that are out due to doctor appointments, vacations or other things,” Dettwiller said. “I hate to do it, but we’ve done it before. It worked two years ago when we had a bad flu bug and we’re hoping it works again this week.”
Dettwiller said he reported last week that Fairfield was monitoring student attendance due to high levels of student absences caused by illness. He said that in one week the school district saw its absentee rate among students rise by 315 percent.
”The cause is due to multiple viruses flowing through our school. Of course, Covid is a factor, but we have rhinovirus and bronchial infections at a high rate as well,” Dettwiller posted on the Fairfield School District’s Facebook page. “In response we will follow our past Fairfield Local protocols. In 2019, we shut down as our flu absences were above 10% in just one building. Last school year we shut down during the Covid peak in November. That is why I am closing Fairfield schools for the remainder of this week. School will resume on Monday, August 30.”
“I understand childcare is an important consideration and that is why I am pushing this notification out as early as possible today,” he added. “During closure due to calamity our facilities and grounds are closed. No activity can occur until Monday, August 30. All athletic events are cancelled.
“It is my hope that this break allows us to get everyone healthy and back to school next Monday.”
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522.”