Fox Point school closes after kids get sick

Posted at 6:33 PM, Dec 11, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-11 19:33:13-05

FOX POINT -- A Fox Point elementary school closed its doors because of an outbreak of gastrointestinal illness.  The school superintendent made the call after 100 kids were sick with similar symptoms at Stormonth Elementary.

“It's always a very difficult decision whether to cancel school or not, but our students safety is our priority,” said Dr. Vance Dalzin, Fox Point-Bayside School Superintendent.

50 kids were out sick Wednesday with gastro intestinal issues, including vomit and diarrhea.  By Thursday, 85 students were absent, including a teacher, another dozen went home sick, all with similar symptoms.

“We’re working with the schools to get some sample specimens and then we'll be sending those to the state lab to confirm the virus we're talking about .  It's likely a noro virus which is the most common type of these viruses that's out there,” explained Ann Christiansen, North Shore Health Department.

The Health Director says washing your hands with soap and water is the only type of prevention for the virus.  If you’re already sick it’s best to stay home and drink plenty of fluids.  Symptoms last two-three days.

“Even after an episode of vomiting or diarrhea people can still be infected or infectious for 48 hours after that last episode,” said Christiansen.

Custodians are deep cleaning the school with bleach.

“The carpets, every nook and cranny of the school they're cleaning,” said Dalzin.

Deidre Jones has a first grader at Stormonth Elementary.

“She said that quite a few kids in her class were out so I think throughout the day some more went home so we're hoping fingers crossed that she washed her hands really well all day long,” explained Deidre Jones.

The illness has only affected kids at Stormonth, but the district has notified parents with students at Bayside Middle School down the road.

“We’re obviously going to be careful and if there's any signs we'll take appropriate steps to make sure our kids stay home and don't infect anybody else,” said Miriam Fleming, parent.

The superintendent hopes to re-open the school Monday.

“I don't recall canceling for a health issue before.” 

Read the letter school officials sent to parents here