Lyons school closed by stomach flu re-opens after deep-clean

LYONS, Ill. (WLS) -- Robinson Elementary School in west suburban Lyons re-opened Friday after a stomach virus outbreak forced the school to close on Thursday.

Only 20 students called in sick on Friday, compared to the 80 students who called in sick on Wednesday. A number of the students who were not in school on Friday were kept home as a precaution.

At first, school officials thought it was the flu. But the Cook County Department of Public Health said it was actually a highly-contagious Norovirus, which many people call the stomach flu. District officials suspect the virus spread from someone who returned to class before fully recovering from the virus.

The school's maintenance staff scrubbed down all hard surfaces in the building with a bleach and water solution on Thursday, including door knobs, tables and toys. Parents said they appreciate the work that went into keeping others healthy.

"The rest of the kids won't get all the germs and all that and get sick either. So, that was a good thing to do," Rogers said.

Administrators turned their attention to other schools in the district on Friday - especially Washington Middle School, which hosted all staff members for a development day this week.

"We have given it the cleaning that it usually has every night and every day. That school is ready to go today, as all the schools are in our district. However, the precaution is Saturday we will do the deep-cleaning of the school so we can get all of our crew together and get in there and do it in a few hours," said Dr. Mary Jo Vladika, Lyons School District 103 Superintendent.

Protect yourself and your family from the stomach flu with the "Three C's" process:
-Clean hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer, especially before eating or preparing food. Wash produce, wipe down counters and avoid preparing food altogether if sick.
-Cover mouths when coughing or sneezing.
-Contain germs by staying home if sick.

"I do think parents worry about their children being sick. We have 2,500 students who are less than 11 and 12-years-old in our district. Health is certainly important and any guidance we can give them is important," Vladika said.

Norovirus also sickened a large number of students at a second school in Evanston. Many students and staff at Washington Elementary came down with a stomach virus a week ago.


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