HARDEMAN COUNTY, TN (WMC) - It wasn't a snow day, but rather a scrub day in many West Tennessee schools on Thursday.
McNairy and Hardeman County schools have seen so many sick students, schools are closed for the rest of the week while crews clean inside.
"The last two days we've had probably 500 to 600 kids absent county wide," said McNairy County Director John Prince.
Prince said the absences have impacted many students' attendance rates in the county's eight schools.
He explained most of the illnesses are stomach bugs or some type of virus, rather than flu cases.
"She's missed a great deal of school unfortunately," said mother Cindy Hawkins.
Hawkins 10-year-old daughter can't seem to beat whatever bug is biting several students.
"She has had two viruses for which we've been to the doctor and been cultured for strep and checked for mono and they've both been classified as viral, but it's been a continuous fever," said Hawkins.
Cleaning crews were busy inside Thursday scrubbing every classroom, including desks, before class is expected to resume Monday.
"I think that's a great thing. I do, because when you have so many children all together day in and day out, that some in different stages of viruses that they spread this," said Hawkins.
"Nurses and our guidance counselors are constantly preaching, wash your hands, ways to stay healthy," explained Prince.
Parents like Hawkins are doing their part by keeping sick kids home until they're fever free so illnesses don't keep spreading.
"The school rule is you know not to return until you're fever free and we're trying to abide by that," explained Hawkins.
School leaders hope the combination of cleaning and keeping students home will allow them to return germ free.