Virus Hits Hosanna School

, Written by Lyle Ahrens, Posted: Thu, January 31 2013 at 4:42 PM, Updated: Thu, January 31 2013 at 4:55 PM

Friday will mark the fourth day that Hosanna Christian School in Klamath Falls will be closed this week due to cold and flu season.

About half of Hosanna's 25 staff members are out sick today.

The hallways are empty, and school busses are parked.

Hosanna School's Business Administrator Barney Simonsen notes that classes were suspended on Tuesday...

"Bottom line was that we felt we got to the point where we weren't able to teach effectively, and the students were just passing the disease on to each other."

About a third of Hosanna's 230 students have had cold or flu-like symptoms.

"The teachers didn't have enough of their classes to teach."  Adds Hosanna Business Assistant Sandy Diaz.  "So they felt bad for the ones they couldn't."

Simonsen says that staffers have been busy cleaning...

"Wiping down door handles, cleaning bathrooms, desks, chairs, cafeteria."  Simonsen adds that closure of the school was not ordered by the health department.  "We've had no inclination from them to cause us to close.  It's just been a practical decision to stop transmitting it."

"We are not in an epidemic."  Says Kathy Devoss, Communicable Disease specialist with the Klamath County Health Department.  "The common sense advice is, if you have not had your flu shot, it is never too late to get your flu shot.  If you are ill with cough, fever, or sore throat, stay home."

Health officials add that covering your cough, and washing your hands can help to protect yourself and others.

Hosanna School plans to re-open on Monday.

The school closure has resulted in rescheduling of several sports events at Hosanna.  At this point, school officials don't anticipate having to add any extra school days at the end of the year.

About the Author

Lyle Ahrens

KOTI-TV NBC2 reporter Lyle Ahrens moved from Nebraska to Klamath Falls in the late 1970's.  He instantly fell in love with the mountains, the trees and the rivers, and never once regretted the move.

Lyle's job history is quite colorful.  He’s managed a pizza parlor; he’s been a bartender, and a “kiwifruit grader” at an organic orchard in New Zealand.  A Klamath Falls radio station hired Lyle in the mid 90's as a news writer and commercial producer.  In 2004, Lyle joined the KOTI/KOBI news operation.

Lyle notes with pride that he has a big responsibility presenting the Klamath Basin to a wide and varied audience.  "The on-going water crisis has underscored the fact that the people and the issues in the Klamath Basin are every bit as diverse as the terrain.  Winning and keeping the trust of the viewers, as well as the newsmakers, is something I strive for with each story".

When he's not busy reporting the news, Lyle enjoys astronomy, playing guitar, fixing old radios and listening to anything by Sheryl Crow.

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