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Branchburg Schools Closed Due To Flu Outbreak

BRANCHBURG, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A school district in Somerset County, New Jersey closed schools Monday after nearly a third of their bus drivers called out with the flu.

The Branchburg Township School District posted on its website that all Branchburg schools would be closed Monday "due to an outbreak of the flu among essential personnel."

Superintendent Rebecca Gensel says this was not an epidemic among the township's 1,400 students and 350 staff, CBS2's Marc Liverman reported. The district just didn't have enough time to find replacement drivers.

"This is really a logistical issue of getting kids to and from school on buses," she said. "Not an epidemic issue of the flu at all."

Gensel said the supervisor of transportation notified them over the weekend that they would not be able to run bus routes, WCBS 880's Kelly Waldron reported. In addition to the message on the district's website, parents were also contacted by text, phone call or email.

"We sent the message out yesterday afternoon to let parents know so they have time to make arrangements for child care today," said Gensel. "We tried to give them as much notice as we possibly could."

"I think it's s good idea if they have to do it in order to keep the community safe," said parent Jodi Verello.

"There's only so much you can know about what's going to happen," said parent Georgia Woodruff.

But some parents say there should also be a back up plan just in case, especially with the amount of flu cases in the state this year.

"They should plan better next time," one parent said.

The superintendent said they are working on disinfecting schools in the district and all buses Monday and are finding replacement drivers for Tuesday.

The district serves students from pre-kindergarten through 8th grade.

The Centers for Disease Control says the flu is reported to be widespread in 48 states.

(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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