CHAMBERS COUNTY, Ala. (WRBL) – The Chambers County School District has announced that W.F. Burns Middle School will be transitioning to virtual learning on Oct. 13 and Oct. 14, due to a cold and flu outbreak the school has experienced over the past two days.

Official said nearly 34% of the students at W.F. Burns Middle School have been out with an illness in the past two days. On Oct. 12, 2022, officials said 172 students out of 521 students at the school were absent due to illness.

Officials said the district’s lead nurse, school administrators, and school nurses are closely monitoring the outbreak.

“It is our desire to focus on the health and safety of our students and staff, and it is our hope that this brief transition to a virtual learning model at W.F. Burns will give us the opportunity to see the virus subside at the middle school with the extended break from campus,” said Casey Chambley, CCSD Superintendent.

The CCSD will be utilizing the following steps to help reduce the recent surge of illnesses at the school.

  • Promoting hand hygiene for both students and staff. (This would include stocking all hand sanitizer stations with adequate supplies and ensuring that stations are in the lunchroom and other vital areas for students to use).
  • School nurses will be collecting information on confirmed cases of flu for both students and staff.
  • Share reminders with both staff and students on flu-symptom recognition to reduce spread.
  • Symptoms include fever + 100, headache, fatigue, cough, sore throat, runny nose, body aches, diarrhea or vomiting.
  • Encouraging ill students to remain at home to ensure they are symptom free before returning to school.
  • Custodial staff will ensure that restrooms are stocked with soap with paper towels or working hand dryers.
  • Custodial staff and faculty will be supplied with wipes or disinfectant to ensure that frequently touched surfaces are being sanitized to reduce transmission.
  • Custodial staff will be encouraged to utilize disinfectant foggers in classrooms after dismissal to provide extra protection for sanitizing classrooms to prevent the spread of transmission.