Dora Consolidated Schools closes due to widespread sickness

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DORA, N.M. (KRQE) – The flu season isn’t slowing down and now another New Mexico school district is closed Thursday because of widespread sickness.

Dora Consolidated Schools sent home a letter to parents Wednesday saying there is no class Thursday or Friday because there aren’t enough teachers or substitutes to cover all the classrooms.

The district says many staff and students are sick, although it did not say if they’re all sick with the flu.

The New Mexico Department of Health says flu activity is double what it was last year, but says no children have died from the flu this season in New Mexico.

However, the flu has killed more than 30 children in at least 23 states.

The health department says they’ve been getting calls from schools and schools districts asking what to do about the widespread flu activity they’re seeing.

“The schools have been concerned because of the widespread flu activity and they’ve been reporting to us that they’ve had more sickness than they might expect so they’ve been asking the Department of Health if there are any further recommendations,” Chad Smelser, NMDOH Medical Epidemiologist.

Just last week, the Eunice School District had to close because of a flu outbreak.

The school district didn’t have enough staff to cover everyone who was sick and 14 percent of students were out. The district has less than 800 students, while Dora Consolidated Schools has about 200.

Many districts are dealing with outbreaks and administrators are asking parents not to send kids to school until they have been fever free for 24 hours.

The superintendent at Dora Consolidated Schools says crews are spending the day sanitizing the schools.

The health department says it doesn’t recommend closing schools because of the flu but understands the need for it in small districts. They also say the flu season could run into May.

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