GRAND COUNTY, Utah (ABC4) — All schools within the Grand County School District will be moving to remote learning for two days after reports of a norovirus outbreak at an elementary school.
Based on recommendations from the Southeast Utah Health Department, the Grand County School District has decided to move to remote learning on Friday, May 19, and Monday, May 23. Health officials say this decision is made to stop additional transmission of norovirus and allow time for schools to be thoroughly cleaned.
“The high school track team will still be going to the UHSAA state championships this weekend and the senior river trip will still happen on Monday,” the statement read. “Other than those two events, all school activities are moving to a remote status for May 19 and May 22.”
On Wednesday, May 17, the school district informed the public that there is an ongoing norovirus outbreak at Helen M. Knight Elementary in Moab. The infectious disease can reportedly cause diarrhea, vomiting nausea and stomach pain. Symptoms for norovirus usually develop 12 to 48 hours after exposure.
“If your child has any of these symptoms after the remote learning days, do not send him/her to school until 48 hours after symptoms have ended,” health officials said. “We also ask that if your child attending the school district has siblings at the charter school or daycares, that you keep those siblings home from school if they are experiencing similar symptoms.”
Experts say one can get infected from having direct contact with an infected person, consuming contaminated food and touching contaminated surfaces.
Even more concerning, there is currently no vaccine to prevent norovirus or treat the illness. Recovery depends on a person’s immune system, according to the Utah Department of Health.
Everyone is encouraged to wash their hands regularly with soap, clean dirty surfaces and stay home if they feel sick.
If anyone in Grand County is exhibiting symptoms of norovirus, the Southeast Utah Health Department asks them to fill out a short questionnaire for everyone who is sick in a household.