A virus is causing students to get sick at an elementary school in Groton, Massachusetts, prompting its early dismissal Friday, the superintendent said.
Florence Roche Elementary School has been assessed by the Board of Health, Groton-Dunstable Regional School District Superintendent Laura Chesson said in a statement. She said the school was being closed early because of "the rapid spread of the virus and the age of the students."
Chesson told NBC10 Boston that about 200 students have been sickened, as of Friday afternoon, out of about 530 at the school. The school first started hearing of the sick students around 10:30 p.m. Thursday. By 11:30 p.m., there were around 50 students reporting symptoms.
"We started to get calls again at 6 o'clock this morning, again, vomiting, diarrhea, those types of symptoms," Chesson said.
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The school was deep cleaned, and the food, milk and water supply all checked, but nothing problematic was found, leading officials to believe this is some kind of virus. Students were advised to bring lunch on Friday as a precaution, but ultimately the Board of Health recommended they close the building. Chesson said they are assuming it is norovirus, based on the symptoms and spread.
Despite the large number of students reporting illness, few teachers have gotten sick.
"We have not had a lot of teachers that have gotten sick but students sit together at lunch at the cafeteria, it’s pretty close together, and there have been a couple of days where we’ve had rain so they’ve had inside recess as well.
Parents are advised to watch their kids for symptoms and if they do get sick, to keep them home for 72 hours.
Read the full statement here:
We have received an updated advisory from the BOH on site at Florence Roche. At this time it is their assessment that the illness students are experiencing is caused by a virus. Given the rapid spread of the virus and the age of the students, we are closing Florence Roche ONLY at 12:15 today. this means if your student rides the bus to and from school they will be arriving home on a half day Friday. If your normal routine is to pick your student up at the end of the school day, please arrive no later than the normal pick up time for half day. this early dismissal is only for Florence Roche. We will continue to monitor health data over the weekend. Please look for an update by email Sunday evening.