A local school district has temporarily closed all buildings to combat rising illness numbers, whole a local college is requiring masks indoors for the next few weeks.

Dexter USD 471 schools will be closed for the rest of the week due to widespread illness among students and staff, according to the district’s Facebook page.

Flu, COVID-19 and strep throat, among other illnesses, have been spreading rapidly, according to the district. All student activities and practices have been postponed until Monday, and the building was set to be deep cleaned and disinfected on Tuesday. Activities for this week will be re-scheduled, with dates and times to be determined.

The school building will be open from 9 to 11 a.m. Wednesday and Thursday for COVID, flu and strep throat testing for students and staff. People who need testing should enter through the commons doors and maintain distance as much as possible.

“We will continue to evaluate the situation over the next few days. The safety and well-being of our students and staff will remain our focus as we work through these illnesses. Thank you for your understanding in this matter,” the message said. 

To help slow the spread of COVID-19, all students, staff, faculty and campus guests at Cowley College will be required to wear face coverings while inside college facilities, according to a post on the college Facebook page. Exceptions will be made for students and employees in their workspace or dorm and not in the vicinity of others, while eating or drinking, or while engaged in strenuous activity.

The college COVID-19 tactical team will review the percentage of active cases against the gating criteria on Jan. 28, and make adjustments as appropriate. Further details can be found at ww.cowley.edu/covid-19.

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