MAGOFFIN COUNTY, Ky. (WANE) — Schools in Kentucky are shutting down after COVID-19 has hit schools since the start of the school year.

In Magoffin County school district at least 40 students were confirmed to have COVID on Monday and Tuesday, but this isn’t the only illness the schools are facing.

Pete Shepard the director of the Magoffin County Health Department said, “We were seeing an uptick of absentees. They were saying COVID, but they were also putting strep throat in there, and there was a virus going around, a stomach virus.”

With the uptick in absences, it led the district to close down on Thursday and Friday. This comes after Lee County made a similar call earlier in the week after facing the same issues. Attendance is key in most schools’ funding so making this call was crucial even if it took students out of class.

“That’s one of the reasons earlier in the COVID pandemic, we took the steps we did related to schools. Not because we desired to, but because infections spread so easily in that setting, with that community, ” said Dr. Steven Stack, Kentuck Commissioner for Public Health.

Most cases reported in the county were mild cases, but a concern arises from how quickly infections can spread within a classroom setting. It is often common in schools to see an uptick in illness at the beginning of the school year.