Elbert School District Closes Because of Illness

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A small Colorado school district is now shut down for the rest of the week because too many students and teachers are sick.

It's happening in Elbert, about an hour northeast of Colorado Springs.

Many students have the flu, and at least one child is confirmed to have whooping cough.

Kelli Loflin, the Superintendent for Elbert School District, says about 80 of the 200 students in the district stayed home Tuesday. Even more kids had to leave after school started.

"Within an hour of opening school, we had almost a dozen students presenting with fever," said Loflin.

After talking with the health department, school officials decided to close for the rest of the week.

Teachers and staff spent hours Tuesday afternoon wiping down tables and chairs, trying to disinfect each classroom.

"We also have turned down all of the heating units so that it will drop to a pretty chilly temperature to kill any germs that might be in the air or in the air ducts," said Loflin.

11 News talked to one mom who was surprised by the outbreak. "I didn't realize we had this big of a problem," said Beth Swenson.

All sporting events and extra-curricular activities have also been cancelled for the rest of the week. Classes will resume next Tuesday.