Manton Schools Closed After Hundreds Of Students Sick With Flu

“We, of course, at school are going to be disinfecting all of the rooms. We’re going to be disinfecting the buses.”

Hundreds of seats sat empty in Manton to start off the week.

A lot of students staying home with the flu Monday.

Manton Consolidated Schools in Wexford County made the decision to close both Tuesday and Wednesday after more than 200 students came down with influenza.

The superintendent is making sure that the school is clean when they come back.

“That’s a lot of students at this school,” says Nikki Traxler, a concerned mother in Manton. “Of course I’m worried.”

A few cases of the flu this time of year is typical, but when Manton superintendent Len Morrow heard the number of sick students this morning, he says it was a response to help so many kids.

“I was notified so I sent a message out to the community using our app, just stating hey, some students were diagnosed with influenza,” Morrow says. “We had 22 percent of our students gone this morning. That’s 213 students.”

Morrow went to the Health Department and a local pediatrician for help.

“We wanted to make sure that we weren’t overreacting,” Morrow says. “We wanted to get the recommendation and speak to people who actually real information on what’s going on in regards to the flu.”

The verdict — close school on Tuesday and Wednesday, and move all sporting events to later in the week.

“We are basically shutting the building down and so we’ll have no practices, no games,” Morrow says.

How to avoid getting sick is a conversation that often starts right here in the classroom and looking at a list, including one list that was a discussion in class on Monday, students already have listed many things like washing your hands and limit contact.

“I was super worried,” Traxler says. “My kids, two of them already had it. My husband had it, and being a nurse, it was very scary.”

Nikki’s family just got over the flu.

They don’t want it again.

“Hand to mouth, everything that they touch, door handles, pencils, pens, everything,” Traxler says. “It could be everywhere.”

She says the school’s efforts to sterilize the building over the next two days is a good measure.

“It’s a pretty unique situation,” Morrow says. “I believe the last time we shut down was about seven years ago and I believe that’s when H1N1 was going around. We don’t take it lightly but we felt it was the best course of action for our kids at this time.”