Two Arkansas school districts closed due to illnesses

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ST. FRANCIS COUNTY, Ark. — Schools in Palestine and Harrisburg, Arkansas will be closed on Friday due to a large number of students being sick.

Palestine schools were also closed Thursday, the St. Francis County Sheriff's Office said.

Superintendent of Palestine-Wheatley, Jon Estes, says the decision to close today and tomorrow comes after 160 students were out of school sick on Tuesday. That's roughly a little more than 20%.

Thursday, staff in the district spent the morning disinfecting buses and buildings.

This is the second time this year the district closed due to a high number of illnesses. WREG was there when they scrubbed the place down a few weeks ago too.

Classes are expected to get back to normal Monday, and students still have take home work to complete.

The most recent state statistics on the number of flu cases show widespread activity.

Since September there's been more than 24,000 reported cases, with many counties showing schools with between a 6 to 10% absentee rate. 

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