School Canceled Due To Stomach Virus

By: Amaka Ubaka
By: Amaka Ubaka

Students at an Omaha school stayed home Tuesday after a stomach bug spread through the school.

Chris Nelson, Principal of Holy Cross School, told Channel Six that they’re taking all the precautions they can. 65 students out of 350 were out sick on Friday.

“Absenteeism is normally under 10 students, but on Friday we had 65 students gone. That was the first indication that something was out of balance".

Over the weekend staff cleaned the school hoping students would be better by Monday, but despite the cleaning, 30 kids either called in sick or were sent home Monday.

Nelson then made the decision to cancel classes Tuesday, a day earlier than scheduled. She says her staff spent the morning cleaning the school from top to bottom. Teachers used bleach to clean every surface kids would possibly touch.

“Walls and desks and lockers and just everywhere door handles, hand railings all of those things,” says Nelson.

Channel Six checked with the Douglas County Health Department and while they are waiting on lab tests, they believe norovirus is most likely the culprit. The virus causes sudden severe vomiting and diarrhea.

It’s not the first time an Omaha school has experienced an outbreak of the virus. Back in April, Mary Our Queen School closed for three days straight a third of their teachers and students became ill.

Nelson says she just wants her students to get better.

“We want to do everything we can do make sure that they're well, that staff can teach and that kids can learn.”

Channel Six also checked with every major school district in the metro and none of them had an unusual number of students out sick. Most schools are off Wednesday for Thanksgiving Break.

If you do have symptoms and have questions you can contact the Health Department at 402-444-7214.

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