Potential Norovirus Outbreak Prompts Closure of Centerville Elementary

CENTERVILLE – A possible case of norovirus has prompted officials to close the Centerville Elementary School on Friday.

A statement on the Barnstable Public Schools’ website said the move was being taken because of a high volume of student and staff illness.

According to the statement, the school department consulted with the Department of Public Health and while not confirmed, symptoms have been consistent with the Norovirus.

The Norovirus is contagious and leads to nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Symptoms typically begin 12-48 hours after exposure and can last for one to three days.

“As a result, we believe it is in the best interest of the school community to be closed tomorrow, May 18. We will be making the day up at the end of the school year on June 22,” read the statement.

Neither the principal at Centerville Elementary nor the superintendent of schools were available for comment.

“We appreciate your understanding as we are making the best decision we can for the health of our staff and students. We look forward to seeing everyone back in school on Monday,” the statement said.

Click here for more information on Norovirus from the CDC:

Automatic phone calls with that message were also made to parents with children in the school.

The following information about Norovirus is listed on the Centers for Disease Control website:

If you have norovirus illness, you can feel extremely ill and throw up or have diarrhea many times a day. This can lead to dehydration, especially in young children, older adults, and people with other illnesses.

Symptoms of dehydration—

  • decrease in urination
  • dry mouth and throat
  • feeling dizzy when standing up

Children who are dehydrated may cry with few or no tears and be unusually sleepy or fussy.

 You are most contagious

  • when you are sick with norovirus illness, and
  • during the first few days after you recover from norovirus illness.

You can become infected with norovirus by accidentally getting stool or vomit from infected people in your mouth. This usually happens by

  • eating food or drinking liquids that are contaminated with norovirus,
  • touching surfaces or objects contaminated with norovirus then putting your fingers in your mouth, or
  • having contact with someone who is infected with norovirus (for example, caring for or sharing food or eating utensils with someone with norovirus illness).

Norovirus can spread quickly in closed places like daycare centers, nursing homes, schools, and cruise ships. Most norovirus outbreaks happen from November to April in the United States.

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