BRUNSWICK, Ohio -- Classes are canceled at all 10 of the Brunswick City School District's elementary and middle schools until Tuesday, May 28 due to a rapidly spreading norovirus.
Superintendent Michael Mayell made the decision after consulting with the Medina County Board of Health.
The schools have seen an alarming number of sickouts in recent days.
“It must be pretty bad if they’re going to shut down the schools,” said Jenny Deighton, a Brunswick mom. “Obviously they wouldn’t shut it down for no reason.”
The high school will remain open because they have not had experienced as many absences, although if parents are concerned they can keep their high school student home.
An eighth grade field trip to Washington, D.C., has been postponed.
A fact sheet posted on the district’s website explains the symptoms of a Norovirus, which is basically a stomach flu.
They include nausea, diarrhea, fever, chills, headache and muscle aches.
A carrier can still be contagious even after they feel better, so the superintendent has asked parents to keep their child home for an additional three days after the symptoms subside.
“That many kids, they can get in and clean the school and buses and everything else -- do what they got to do to keep our kids healthy,” said Brunswick mom Tayna Bryant.
Noroviruses are spread by eating food or drinking liquids contaminated with the virus or by touching a contaminated surface and then putting your hands to your mouth.
They are not usually life threatening except in the very young, elderly or those with compromised immune systems.
While the district focuses their efforts on cleaning and disinfecting the buildings and buses, parents and kids have been encouraged to practice good health and hygiene.
The best way to prevent the spread of the virus is to wash your hands frequently, especially after using the restroom or changing a diaper.
Also carefully wash all fruits and vegetables and thoroughly clean and disinfect any contaminated surfaces immediately after an illness.
At this point, it's unknown if the students will have to make up any of the days, but the district has not used many calamity days this year, so parents and students hope not.
The last day of classes before summer break is currently scheduled for June 5.
For additional information on Noroviruses, click here.