June 27, 2016

Partly sunny

Norovirus closes Brunswick High School, too

BRUNSWICK — Brunswick High School is the latest victim of the outbreak of norovirus that struck the city’s schools last week.

On Tuesday, school officials announced the high school would be closed for remainder of the week to prevent the spread of norovirus, which is highly contagious and can be transmitted through close contact with infected people, contaminated food, water and hard surfaces.

Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and usually last between 24 and 48 hours.

School officials had shut down all 10 elementary and middle schools after class Monday.

Superintendent Michael Mayell said he had hoped to keep the high school open because there were no reported cases there Monday.

That situation changed the next day when about 200 of the about 2,500 students at the high school were absent.

“That’s about twice what we normally experience,” he said.

Mayell said most of those who failed to show up hadn’t yet succumbed to the norovirus.

“The largest number of reports we received were because parents weren’t sending them because they were concerned they would be exposed to it,” he said.

But a few students were showing symptoms and others didn’t come to school because “we requested they don’t if their siblings were sick,” he said.

All activities in the high school are canceled, but outdoor sports events are still on.

Prom and after-prom activities also are expected to go forward on schedule.

The outbreak began last week at Towslee Elementary, which was closed Friday after an outbreak of food poisoning earlier in the week that sickened 20 to 25 students and staff members.

The Medina County Health Department said tests identified the cause as norovirus but said the source wasn’t food from the school cafeteria but probably from food brought in by students for Teacher Appreciation Week.

Contact David Knox at (330) 721-4065 or dknox@medina-gazette.com.