County schools close due to illness

By Dean Wright -

GALLIA COUNTY — Gallia County Local School District has called off classes in all its schools for Wednesday due to higher than normal reports of absences and sickness among students.

According to Gallia County Local School District Superintendent Jude Meyers, River Valley High School closed Friday when the school previously was experiencing around 27 percent of students absent for illness. Other schools in the district have also been reporting larger than normal absence rates due to illness.

“We are running about 25 percent absent across the district,” said Meyers. “We have Clorox machines that spray down every room.”

Meyers said school is set to be back in session Thursday and that the district is reporting students have experienced a combination of “upper respiratory flu and stomach virus.” The superintendent said the schools would be getting a “deep clean” Wednesday night.

Gallipolis City School District has not closed its school doors.

“We are monitoring the situation,” said Gallipolis City School District Superintendent Craig Wright, “but closing school at this time is not warranted. There are protocols in place that can prevent the spread of the flu virus.”

The Gallia Health Department released a statement Monday in light of recent concerns with an outbreak of coronavirus in China and around the world stating that it is currently more concerned with the flu than the outbreak.

Coronavirus is considered a family of viruses and that most individuals will have a form of it at some point in their lifetime. That does not mean they will necessarily experience a form of the virus from Wuhan, China.

“To protect yourself against any virus (generally speaking) we encourage regular hand washing. In all actuality, we are more concerned with the flu than the coronavirus. That’s not saying it can’t mutate and become a much more virulent virus but until then general hygiene practices will cut down on your likelihood of transmission for every virus,” said the department in its statement.

Dean Wright is a staff writer with Ohio Valley Publishing and can be reached at 740-446-2342.

By Dean Wright