Suspected Norovirus Outbreak Cancels Classes at Avon Old Farms School


Classes at Avon Old Farms Schools have been cancelled after a group of students presented with symptoms of norovirus, according to school officials.

Norovirus is a highly contagious virus that causes the stomach and intestines to become inflamed according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Symptoms include stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea and vomiting. There is no specific treatment for norovirus, but sufferers are advised to drink plenty of fluids. For more details on norovirus visit the CDC website.

Robert Orenstein, the school’s Chief Financial Officer, confirmed to NBC Connecticut that approximately 15 percent of the boys' preparatory school’s students exhibited symptoms of the virus. The school has approximately 400 students and houses them on campus when school is in session.

Orenstein said in an email that families were given the option of having their sons travel home for the weekend to lower their chances of contracting the virus, or for the boys to remain on campus under the care of school health professionals. Extra nurses were called in to the school's health center, and also to the dormitories to attend to any students too sick to make it to the health center.

"The health and well being of our students and the adults who work here is our highest priority," Orenstein said.

The school cancelled classes originally scheduled for Saturday and Monday. Some sporting events, and several other school activities were also cancelled or postponed.

In addition to cancelling campus events the school is taking several steps to prevent the virus from spreading.

Lenore Severni APRN, Director of the Health Center addressed the community Friday morning to go over tips to avoid contamination.

Housekeepers are working extra hours to clean and disinfect the campus, and food services has temporarily suspended self-serve food stations.

Healthy students are expected back on campus by Monday evening. Parents of students exhibiting symptoms are encouraged to keep them home until they have recovered.

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