Following widespread student and staff illnesses from a highly contagious stomach bug, a Metro Detroit school was forced to stop classes for the remainder of the week.
To contain an epidemic of the norovirus, administrators at St. Michaels Catholic School along Plymouth Road in Livonia decided to postpone classes and after-school activities until next Tuesday, February 14.
To prevent the spreading of the disease, which includes vomiting and diarrhea, co-principal Kathy Nold reminded parents and kids that it is fairly frequent.
Nold stated in her statement, “The health department expressed that we acted correctly in closing the school as quickly as possible.”
Nold claims that the outbreak began on Monday after students started to feel ill. It rapidly became worse as at least two pupils puked in their classrooms.
Nold stated, “We had students who vomited… Tuesday, well before lunchtime, and then a rolling incidence of students throwing up gradually the rest of the day.” “We are also having siblings starting the onset of symptoms in a rolling fashion.”
On Wednesday, about a dozen pupils reported vomiting in class, according to Nold, who said that illnesses among students persisted. Staff did their best to deal with the situation, but Nold claimed they lacked the resources to address an outbreak that affected the entire school.
“Further, to say that the events… were disruptive and upsetting (to the students affected) is an understatement,” she explained. “It would be unmanageable at a school-wide level to have what happened in our first grade yesterday (10 students vomiting in classrooms within a 4-hour timeframe).”
Several staff members are currently ill, according to the co-principal.
“I have made the very difficult choice to close the school and all programming in our building until Tuesday, Feb. 14,” said Monsignor Tindall after meeting with the Wayne County Health Department and reading the literature they had provided.
According to administrators, students were already supposed to have Monday, February 13, off. The following day, classes will start at their regularly scheduled time.
Although Nold expressed regret to families if the decision to cancel classes interfered with work schedules or other commitments, she insisted that keeping everyone at home was in the “best interest of the health of our school.”
She continued, “The health department informed us that we would likely have to restart this entire cycle of school shutdown if any student were to vomit with this Norovirus in a classroom in the days to come. “We do not want this,”
The Norovirus is extremely contagious for at least three days after a person recovers from symptoms, according to the Wayne County Health Department.
Direct contact with an infected person, drinking contaminated food or water, touching contaminated surfaces, and then putting your unwashed hands in your mouth are all simple and quick ways to contract the virus.
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Despite occurring frequently from November to April, according to health officials, outbreaks are widespread throughout the year.
Parents were advised by Nold not to send their children to school until three days after they felt better.
“By closing school now, we will allow those sick students to get well and no longer be contagious to others,” the co-principal continued in her letter. I’m hoping the parents reading this will realize that I don’t take this choice lightly, but I also know it’s the right one.
While everyone is at home, the school’s maintenance crew will clean all handrails, doorknobs, and other surfaces that the fogger can’t reach, as well as cleanse the classrooms and common areas using an aerosol sanitizer.
“Additionally, we are cleaning any impacted carpets and floors and adhering to all safety precautions for the waste disposal process. According to our regulations and the direction of the Wayne County Health Department, we are adhering to all health and safety measures. I hope this brings you comfort and peace of mind.”
Nold requested that parents contact Kelly Burchart, the school secretary, at email@example.com with any fresh cases of probable norovirus.