Flu outbreak prompts high school in Clearwater to close Friday

CLEARWATER, Fla. — Calvary Christian High School in Clearwater closed Friday due to a flu outbreak that has affected a large portion of the student body and faculty.

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David Rice, a pastor and spokesman for Calvary Christian High School, says 100 kids and 5 teachers were out sick on Thursday, so the school decided to close all day Friday to clean the facility. 

The school has hired a cleaning service to disinfect the classrooms and hardware inside the school. 

Doctor Alexandra Zelenka is used to dealing with the flu. “We’ve had significant amounts of sick patients," she explained, but the latest outbreak at Calvary Christian High School hits a little too close for comfort. “To have a whole school impacted widely was a bit of a surprise.”

Zelenka's son Johnny, who is a freshman at Calvary Christian HS, has not caught the flu but 20% of his classmates are sick with the flu.

Although her two sons take plenty of vitamins and constantly wash their hands, Zelenka is concerned. “Obviously everyone will be more careful and vigilant when they get back to school," she added.

Calvary Christian is one of several school to close Friday. In the panhandle, the entire Gulf County School District shut their doors after hundreds of students caught the flu. 

Tampa Bay Health Departments say the end of flu season is still weeks away, and the number of people getting sick continues to spike. 

Parents at Calvary Christian suspect the virus may have spread so quick because teens came to school sick and the flu can be contagious for up to 7 days. 

Zelenka is glad her son's school is taking extra precautions, by scrubbing and sanitizing every inch of the Clearwater campus. 

“I am confident Calvary will do a great job to contain what’s going on at the school," Zelenka expressed.

Leaders at the school hope with a lot of rest and a little medication, students will feel better in time for school on Monday.

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