Mountain Meadow Elementary will be closed tomorrow, May 8, after an outbreak of Norovirus swept through the school.
White River School District Director of secondary education Mike Hagadone said the decision was made in order to create the best learning environment for kids.
“We felt we would be better off if we took a step back and let everybody have a chance to recover and come back strong on Monday,” Hagadone said.
Extra custodial staff will be brought into the school for another deep clean on Friday.
According to Hagadone, maybe a couple hundred students were absent from the school today, although he stressed many absences were not because the children were sick.
“While we had more absenses today than we had yesterday, not all those kids were exhibiting flu-like symptoms. Not even half,” said Hagadone. “In a situation like this, parents will keep children home because they don’t want them to get sick, and we understand that and support that.”
According to the CDC, Norovirus is highly contagious and is the most common cause of food-borne disease outbreaks in the US.
Norovirus is most contagious during the time an infected person shows symptoms, but also for the first few days after the person recovers.
Symptoms are flu-like, including diarrhea, nausea, throwing up, body aches, and stomach pains.
According to the CDC, it takes between 12 to 48 hours to develop symptoms, and recovery time varies between one to three days.
Sharing drinks and food is a common way to share the virus, but touching the same surfaces as an infected person can transfer the infection.
Because Norovirus is not a bacterial infection, it cannot be treated with antibiotics, and the CDC recommends drinking plenty of fluids to counteract any dehydration caused by Norovirus symptoms.
Reach Ray Still at email@example.com or 360-825-2555 ext. 5058. Follow him on Twitter @rayscottstill for more news, pictures and local events.