Saturday, 2:15 PM
Flu forces closure of Lowell elementary school
Matt Collette, Globe Correspondent
A Catholic elementary school in Lowell was closed today after a flu outbreak kept 58 of the school’s 465 students out of school yesterday. Eight teachers were also out sick from St. Louis Elementary School.
“Out of an abundance of caution and because the school was concerned about having an appropriate number of staff, they made the decision to close for today,” Terrence C. Donilon, a spokesman for the Archdiocese of Boston, said in an e-mail today. “We fully expect the school to reopen tomorrow.”
The school’s maintenance team will provide additional cleaning to minimize chances of a future outbreak and the archdiocese’s Catholic Schools Office has been informed of the school closing and will coordinate any additional support needed, Donilon said.
“We have a very tough year this year for flu season,” said Massachusetts Department of Public Health spokeswoman Donna Rheaume. The flu season peaked in mid-February and should end in the middle of next month, she said.
There were about four times as many flu cases this year than average, Rheaume said. Four children in Massachusetts have died from the disease this year.
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