Alcoa City Schools will be closed today, Sept. 3, "to provide an extra day for students and staff to rest and recover from illness," the district announced.

Alcoa students already had next Monday off for Labor Day and Tuesday because of professional development, so they will return to classes Wednesday, Sept. 8.

Director Becky Stone said absenteeism "increased greatly this week" from a combination of illnesses, not just COVID-19 but also strep, stomach illness and others.

Alcoa had 250 student out across its four schools on Wednesday, Sept. 1. Stone said most of the absences were at the middle school and "we still had lost out at the intermediate school."

ACS had a total of 18 teachers out for any reasons and was able to find substitutes for all but four, according to Stone.

Alcoa High School's football game was Thursday night, but Friday's closure means there will be no other extracurricular events or practices that day. "We're not going to be on campus at all," Stone said.

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