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Kids Sent Home after St. Mary Elementary Teachers, Staff Catch the Flu

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SACRAMENTO -- St. Mary Elementary School in Sacramento was quiet Monday.

There was no sound of laughing children or teachers teaching as the school shut down due to sickness.

"We had 11 adults out. Students were doing fine, but we were losing staff and faculty, and even the substitutes were sick," said Kevin Eckery, a spokesman for the Diocese of Sacramento. "So the easiest thing to do, and the safest thing to do, was to close the school down for a couple days, wash it down, disinfect it."

Eckery said the Diocese of Sacramento believes the school has been hit by the flu.

It has been an especially hard flu season, with the Center's for Disease Control and Prevention reporting a historically high number of hospitalizations -- on track to top the last benchmark at 710,000. There have been 53 pediatric deaths nationwide reported from influenza this season.

So St. Mary is proceeding with caution and shutting down until Thursday. They are encouraging parents to proceed with caution too.

"This is not the time to be noble. If you're not feeling well, if your child isn't feeling well, stay home," Eckery said.