GRAND COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4)– Just one day after all schools in Mesa County School District 51 closed due to widespread illness, the West Grand School District in Grand County closed schools early ahead of the planned Thanksgiving break. The school district also experienced massive illnesses.

The sharp rise in student and staff health issues seem to center around gastrointestinal or upper respiratory issues. That has resulted in a high absentee rate at the schools. School officials have not specifically named norovirus as Mesa County has.

READ MORE: Police: Man Kills 6 Adults & Himself At Colorado Springs Birthday Party

File photo of a classroom. (credit: KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/Getty Images)

The school district says having so many students and staff out sick has impacted the learning environment and the best course of action is to close schools.

West Grand School District schools will be closed beginning on Friday and Nov. 25 and 26 in addition to the regularly scheduled Thanksgiving break days. All school activities are cancelled during that time.

READ MORE: Denver Police Officer Shot Saturday Night, Suspect On The Loose

School district administrators hope that during the extended break, all students and staff can fully recover.

The maintenance and custodial staff will sanitize and deep clean all surfaces in the schools in the district.

MORE NEWS: $30,000 Reward Now Offered In 1970 Murder Of Marilee Burt

All students in the Mesa County Valley School District 51 will not have school until after Thanksgiving break due to widespread illness. Grand Mesa Middle School and Mt. Garfield Middle School will remain shut down until Dec. 3. Palisade High School was closed for a time last week due to what officials believe was norovirus.