Hamilton County schools will be closed Friday. (Image: MGNOnline)

Hamilton County schools will be closed Friday because of illnesses, but all sporting activities will continue as scheduled.

Superintendent Bryan Johnson said in a prepared statement:

We have watched absence numbers very closely for the past few weeks, and student safety has been our No. 1 concern since the flu outbreak hit our community. The absence numbers due to the illness of teachers and bus drivers combined is now significantly impacting our ability to open and operate the schools for children.

The system has been working “diligently” with the custodial provider to put in place extra cleaning and disinfecting strategies. Durham, the operator Hamilton County bus services, has also worked closely with system administration to disinfect buses, according to a news release.

Hamilton County schools will continue to work with contractors to implement the most effective cleaning methods possible to provide a safe and comfortable learning environment for the school system’s staff and children, also according to a news release.