Parents, students react to viral illness school closure

Chiloquin Elementary School decal in front of the school (Jennevieve Fong / News 10)

Chiloquin Elementary students and staff stayed home on Wednesday, after a third of the student body came down with a viral illness.

While the rest of the Klamath County School District is out of school due to the winter weather, Chiloquin Elementary were out of school due to the illness that is spreading. Parents said the closure has affected the only elementary school in the neighborhood.

"I think being out of school is a relief because it's stressful and the illness, I'm a little concerned about my friends because some of them have it," sixth-grader Brittany Romani said.

Related | Viral illness closes elementary school

Romani is one of the 190 students who were forced to stay home from Wednesday to Friday, due to a virus causing high fevers and vomiting that can last for as long as seven days.

"I'm concerned about getting the illness because I just don't want to get sick again, because I've already been sick this year for a month and it didn't go away," Romani said.

The concern has also spread to parents of the school, some with children attending other schools that have not been previous exposed to the illness.

"It's just scary seeing something like this breakout in our community," Chiloquin Elementary parent Anna Merritt said. "All of our kids come to school and they come back and get back home and they're just sharing it."

With 56 students and eight staff members affected, Merritt said she is appreciative school administrators are executing cleaning and disinfecting protocols.

"Given this is like first time I'd ever seen this happen, I think they acted somewhat quickly," Merritt said. "Having measles and mumps all over the news, could have been a day sooner but I'm glad that they closed the school."

Even though students aren't going to school, Merritt said their education is not suffering.

"I got a stack of papers of homework papers and her backpack and so I know I'm going to be working on math with my daughter," Merritt said.

The school plans to reopen next Tuesday, after being closed Monday in observation of President's Day. Parents and students are encouraged to monitor the district website for updates.

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