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Woodland to Close Two Elementary Schools to Limit Spread of Norovirus
(Woodland, CA) – Yolo County’s Health Officer, in partnership with the Woodland Joint Unified School District (WJUSD), has decided to take advantage of the upcoming long weekend and close Dingle and Tafoya elementary schools on Friday, May 26, to limit further transmission of the Norovirus in these two schools, which have experienced particularly high rates of the illness.
“While we have enhanced our cleaning efforts and worked to limit student interactions on campus, we need to take an even more aggressive approach at these two schools to end the outbreak,” said Tom Pritchard, WJUSD interim superintendent. “Having students and staff away from school for four days will greatly reduce transmission of the virus and allow for additional deep cleaning at both sites.”
While the Yolo County Health Officer and communicable disease team are working closely with school administrators throughout Yolo County to control the spread of the Norovirus, the number of reported ill throughout the county continues to rise. Current reported numbers of affected students and school staff since May 1 is 3,374.
Yolo County Health Officer Ron Chapman, MD, MPH continues to urge the following actions be taken to prevent further spread of the infection:
- Stay home if there is any sign of illness such as stomach pain, fever, nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea.
- Individuals who have the above symptoms are considered to have Norovirus. They do not require lab or medical confirmation.
- Stay home for an additional 48 hours after symptoms are gone. Even though you feel better, you still carry the virus and can infect other people.
- Wash your hands frequently throughout the day with soap and water.
- Clean contaminated surfaces regularly with appropriate disinfectant, such as bleach.
- Do not prepare food and drink for others if you are sick.
- Questions related to symptoms and treatment should be directed to your primary care provider or clinic.
- If your child is sick, notify the school and tell them your child’s symptoms.
- If you or a family member are sick with Norovirus and cannot drink liquids, please seek medical care.
The spread of Norovirus can be prevented by practicing proper hand hygiene. Important strategies include washing hands with soap and water, especially after using the toilet and changing diapers, and always before eating and preparing or handling food.
Symptoms of Norovirus include fever, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and stomach pain. Symptoms last for 1-3 days. However, after symptoms go away, people are still highly infectious, especially the first 48 hours. There is no treatment for Norovirus. The most important steps to prevent the spread of Norovirus is to stay home if you are sick, and for another 48 hours after symptoms go away, and to regularly wash hands.
For more information about Norovirus, visit the Centers for Disease Control website: www.cdc.gov/Norovirus/.