Norovirus Outbreak

Lee Middle and High School was closed this morning with students and staff being sent home just prior to the start of a typical Friday. It became clear that a flu-like outbreak was underway due to the number of staff and students calling in sick with similar conditions. The Kent County Health Department was called in and the evidence concludes an outbreak of the Norovirus.

What is Norovirus? Norovirus is a virus that causes acute gastroenteritis also known as the “stomache flu”. Symptoms of Norovirus infection are nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, cramping and low grade fever. It is spread by fecal-oral route, either by consumption of fecal-contaminated food or water, direct person-to-person contact or by environmental contamination where the virus lives on inanimate objects such as keyboards, door handles etc.

How can you prevent yourself and your children from getting Norovirus? Below are several charts (English and Spanish) that can help you. In the meantime, our cleaning company is completely disinfecting all of our school buildings and the Lee Field locker room this weekend. Our technology team has assisted to make sure all of our computer keyboards and laptops are also sanitized. We have cancelled a number of athletic practices and events this weekend, and have closed the schools to any weekend events pending completion of the cleanup. I would also suggest that our students avoid congregating together this weekend, particularly if a family member has contracted the virus.

At this point, we anticipate opening school on Monday morning. If that should change, we will immediately notify all of our families through the emergency notification system, television, radio, Facebook and Twitter.

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About David Britten

Retired U.S. Army Officer, former elementary, middle and high school principal, currently serving as a public school superintendent.
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