Virus Shuts Down An Entire School District

All the schools within the boundaries of Colorado’s Mesa County Valley School District 51 are leaving for Thanksgiving vacation a bit sooner than expected, though not all are feeling thankful.

The district, according to a report from KKTV 11, posted on its Facebook:

The health and safety of our students and staff is our top priority. With the recent rise in illnesses across the valley, we have made a decision to close all D51 schools this Thursday and Friday, Nov. 21-22. All District 51 schools will reopen as scheduled following Thanksgiving Break. The closure includes all afterschool activities beginning Thursday, Nov. 21.

All school buildings will be closed Nov. 21-22. However, Central Administration, BTK, Hawthorne, and Emerson will be open as scheduled Nov. 21-22 and Nov. 25-27.

We have never before had to close all schools in the district due to illness. According to D51 Nursing Coordinator Tanya Marvin, “We are taking this highly unusual action because this virus is extremely contagious and spreading quickly across our schools. In addition, it appears that there is now a second, related virus that is affecting students, some of whom have already been ill in recent weeks. The combination of the two has created an unprecedented spread of illness.”

Onset of symptoms for both types of viruses, including vomiting, is incredibly fast. The second version also causes fever in several cases.

We understand that a districtwide closure is an inconvenience to families and a rare step to take. While our custodial crews are working tirelessly to disinfect schools, the rapid spread of illness has led us to the conclusion that closing all schools to allow our custodial crews and environmental health and safety team to perform an intense cleaning of the school buildings is the best course of action.

Read the original story from KKTV 11:

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