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Stomach virus closes Sackets Harbor school

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SACKETS HARBOR — Sackets Harbor Central School is closed today because of an outbreak of a stomach virus that caused about 20 percent of the student population and several teachers to miss school Thursday.

Consulting with the school district physician Thursday evening, Superintendent Frederick E. Hall Jr. decided to close school today “after a rash of kids got sick” from a gastrointestinal illness that wreaked havoc at school.

Of 480 who attend the school, 85 to 90 students either were absent Thursday or became ill and had to leave school. Several teachers and teacher aides also were ill.

With just one day until the Christmas break and the risk of more sickness, Mr. Hall said it made sense not to have school today. It is a general rule to close if 20 percent of the students are absent, he said.

During the day, more and more students showed up at the nurse’s office. Students were nauseated, vomiting and complaining of feeling dizzy.

“There was a wave of kids and then a next wave,” Mr. Hall said, adding he saw the aftermath himself.

It hit all the levels of the K-12 school and seemed to be happening to siblings, he said.

The varsity and junior varsity boys basketball games were canceled Thursday night because so many players and a coach were ill.

Parent-Teacher Organization President Sheri Hermann said she took ill in the middle of the night Sunday, became dehydrated and then ended up in the emergency room on Wednesday.

She recommends going to the doctor if the illness lasts more than two days.

“It was awful,” she said, adding that she is still recovering.

With students off a full two weeks, the school’s cleaning staff will use the time to disinfect the school, Mr. Hall said. Staff will sanitize doorknobs, railings, computer keyboards and other surfaces that can have germs.

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