Center Middle School deep cleaned after stomach illness outbreak

Posted at 2:13 PM, Apr 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-24 18:40:32-04

Center Middle School is getting back to its normal schedule Monday after school administrators say a stomach illness outbreak occurred late last week.

An email was sent out to parents informing them roughly 50 students and 10 teachers went home sick.

“We knew that it was something going on, and it's been the flu what we've found out since,” Center School District Communications Director Kelly Wachel said. “We've contacted the health department, let them know about the amount of students, and the symptoms that they've all had and then over the weekend.”

There's been a deep clean of the school building, and school buses were also disinfected.

“Everything from common areas to classrooms to cafeterias. We've even had the bus companies clean the buses very thoroughly, so just making sure we're taking care of kids, making sure that they're healthy, that their families are aware of what's going on,” Wachel said.

The following email was sent out to parents:

Hello Center Middle School Parents and Guardians,

As you might know by now, we have had several students go home sick over the course of Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday at the end of this week.  Center Middle School had about 50 students and about 10 teachers go home sick with flu-like symptoms.  We have notified the health department about the symptoms and the amount of people affected.  At this point, we believe it is the flu and not food poisoning because not all the students and teachers affected ate food prepared at school. We believe it is a quick moving flu bug.

Ms. Williams and the district cleaning crew have been at Center Middle School last night and this morning working to disinfect the school – all areas – and the bus company is thoroughly cleaning the buses.  We also canceled all after-school sports yesterday and canceled the spring play practice this morning.  We hope that the deep cleaning over the course of this weekend will help alleviate the spread of the flu.

Please continue to monitor your children for signs of feeling sick and take precautions advised by your doctor or health care team.  The nurse, Tyler Follis, will also be available on Monday if you need to visit with him.  Thank you and enjoy the rest of your weekend.

In good health,

Kelly Wachel

Center School District

It's certainly not normal for us to have a mass outbreak of sickness,” Wachel said. “When you do have schools full of kids and people, you're bound to sometimes have sickness and people get sick. But it's really an anomaly for us.”

School nurse Tyler Follis said his office has been quite busy the past few days.

“Basically starting at the end of last week, we just had an increase number of students that had intestinal issues, some vomiting, some nausea, things of that nature,” Follis said. “Nothing that was going to catch our radar until Friday we started realizing that we had an increase number of students that were just not feeling well and started making phone calls home and just get them where they needed to be where they could rest.”

School administrators said they believe it to be a quick moving flu bug.

“Flu and colds tend to run a little bit rampant during the cold and flu season. Even though we're near the tail end of that, we just may have seem to caught the tail end of one those heading our way,” Follis said.

Health officials encourage people to practice healthy habits, such proper hand washing, 30 seconds to a minute, also covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze, and to stay home when you’re sick.