Amelia schools close for cleaning

By Andy Jenks - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

AMELIA, VA (WWBT) - The district is doing a top-to-bottom disinfecting of just about everything the students would touch, but school leaders say that won't be all it takes to stop the H1-N1 virus and other germs.

In the midst of a public health crisis - not even the nurses were seen today at Amelia County public schools. On this day, it was all about cleaning.

"Everything the students will touch and come in contact with we'll try and take an opportunity to make sure it's clean," said Dr. David Gangel, Superintendent of Amelia County Public Schools.

Starting today and lasting all week, crews will disinfect their A-B-C's: "All Buses and Classrooms." hoping to scrub away any trace of the H1-N1 virus, and other germs.

"We really can't effectively educate children unless they're here and they're healthy in the first place," Gangel said.

As a result, students have an unexpected home. But considering more than 300 other kids were home sick last Friday, parents had mixed opinions on the timing of this time off.

"A little too late," said parent Joseph Anthony. "They knew everybody was getting sick. So they should've closed the schools at least to clean the school to prevent more from getting sick."

"I think they should've done it earlier. I'm glad that they did decide to do it, I think it should've been disinfected," said parent Tara Middlebrook.

Even though it would appear to be a week of fun and games for some children, school leaders hope the time away serves two purposes.

"A virus only lives 2-8 hours outside the body. So the cleaning in itself isn't necessarily going to be the one thing to affect that," said Gangel.

One is to have the schools be disinfected. The other, is to allow sick students enough time to get well.

"We want to try and break the cycle of infection," he said.

Cleaning will continue until the end of the week, with the schools scheduled to re-open one week from today.

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