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TOWNSHEND — Leland & Gray Union Middle and High School is dealing with a heavy presence of illness from COVID-19 and the flu.

“Yesterday, we had a third of the high school out,” Principal Bob Thibault said Wednesday at the West River Education District meeting.

Thibault estimated between five to 10 staff members have been out sick recently on any given day.

“Tomorrow (Thursday), we’re going to be really struggling with having the sub coverage,” he said.

To help with the lack of substitute teachers, certain classes were planned to be held Thursday in Dutton Gym. Thibault said the learning environment is “not as ideal” as classrooms.

The goal is to keep Leland & Gray open.

“It’s been a very tough week with the sickness and the COVID, and the flu symptoms, which is what I have,” said Thibault, who did not attend the meeting in person but via Zoom.

The Vermont Health Department said because of changes in testing and contact tracing in schools, its report on COVID cases in schools will no longer be updated after Jan. 10.