Southwestern Minnesota school closes after 74 students out with flu

A school is southwestern Minnesota is closed Thursday and Friday because approximately 20 percent of the student population is sick with the flu. 

In a Facebook video, Superintendent Wade McKittrick said 74 students at Wabasso Public School in Wabasso were out sick on Wednesday. Many other students were sick as well, but came to school. 

“Many more students are walking the halls quite sick who maybe shouldn’t be here, but are,” he said. 

Wabasso Public School is a Pre-K through 12th grade school. 

McKittrick said he decided to close the school to prevent the illness from spreading further. After-school activities and practices are also canceled. 

School will resume on Monday. The missed days will be made up on March 27 and at the end of the school year, McKittrick said. 

Influenza is now considered widespread across the state, according to the Minnesota Department of Health. In the Twin Cities metro, Allina Health and University of Minnesota Health hospitals and clincs have implemented visitor restriction guidelines to protect patients and limit the spread of the flu.

MDH flu stats out Thursday show there were 30 new school outbreaks this week.