Viral illness closes elementary school

A viral infection is circulating around Chiloquin Elementary School in Klamath County that has caused the school to close for cleaning. (Courtesy MGN)

A viral illness spreading through the campus has caused Chiloquin Elementary School to close for the rest of the week - Wednesday, February 13th, through Friday, February 15th.

As of Tuesday, February 12th, 56 students and eight staff members at the elementary school were absent due to an illness, according to a statement released by the Klamath County School District.

"That's about third of the students," Klamath County School District Superintendent Glen Szymoniak said. "Some of the students started getting sick last Thursday then when we got back to school Monday 40 students were out sick."

The virus cases high fevers and vomiting that can last for as long as seven days. According to the KCSD, tests indicated this is not the norovirus, but it is a viral infection.

"What we want to get across is parents should probably keep them home for about 48 hours after they are feeling better. Just because. Just to make sure they're done being sick," Szymoniak said.

Chiloquin High School and all other Klamath County School District schools are not currently experiencing the same illness or absence rate, and will remain open this week.

Cleaning and disinfecting protocols are in place.

"Normally the schools are cleaned and disinfected anyway but we'll send in a few extra people to make sure all of the surfaces are cleaned and disinfected with a solution that kills viruses," Szymoniak said.

The elementary school plans to reopen on Tuesday, February 19th, since all schools will be closed next Monday in observation of President's Day.

Szymoniak thanked staff for coping with the situation including the principal Rita Hepper who he said had sick kids at home to deal with and her school too.

"She was doing the best she could to be principal and mom," Szymoniak said.

UPDATE | Parents, students react to viral illness school closure

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