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Harrison County closes schools because of absenteeism

Harrison County public schools will be closed for the rest of the week because of an upswing in absenteeism among students at all six of the county's schools.

"Our feeling is that the flu is the major cause," Superintendent Andy Dotson said. But he said he's heard of no confirmed cases of swine flu. Besides seasonal flu, some students are coming down with a stomach virus, he said.

He said 270 students were absent Monday. On Tuesday the number had increased to about 350, and by noon Wednesday 450 students were absent. The school system has 3,144 students.

"We thought it would level off. It didn't," Dotson said, adding that he hoped a four-day break for students would help the situation. Notes about the cancellation were sent home with students, and the school system also notified parents by phone.

Dotson said all school-related activities have also been cancelled, including Harrison County High School's Friday night football game with Bardstown High School.