- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 10, 2017

ST. CHARLES, Ill. (AP) - A high school in St. Charles has cancelled classes after a widespread stomach virus caused hundreds of absences.

About 800 of St. Charles East High School’s 2,000 students missed class Monday, the Daily Herald (https://bit.ly/2iBCTtE ) reported. District 303 spokesman Jim Blaney said the majority reported symptoms of a stomach virus.

“Indications point that way (to norovirus), but we don’t have definitive answers from people qualified to make that determination,” Blaney said.

District officials became aware of the illness Saturday when 10 of the 14 varsity boys basketball players at the high school became sick overnight. As a result, varsity boys and girls games against St. Charles North were canceled.

The school was cleaned over the weekend after a mass email sent out to parents confirmed that many students were sick. Students that attended school Monday were released by 2 p.m. for further deep cleaning of the school.

Blaney said all of the district’s 17 buildings were cleaned with bleach, a method recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to kill viruses.

Classes were cancelled Tuesday after a second mass email that asked parents to respond if their child was healthy and would be attending class.

“One of the key components was asking parents and students to respond to us and give us some information,” Blaney said. “The parents have been fabulous in doing so and helped us out a lot - enough that we felt comfortable making some decisions based on that information.”

Students will return to school Thursday at the earliest.

Officials said a diagnosis of the outbreak has not been given.


Information from: Daily Herald, https://www.dailyherald.com

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