Norovirus Outbreak Forces Closure Of Three Yolo County Schools

YOLO COUNTY (CBS13) – Three schools have canceled classes due to the Norovirus outbreak that’s spreading.

There were 22 absences at Tafoya Elementary, one of the highest infected schools in the county.

“I know he’s excited he doesn’t have to go to school on Friday,” said Candice McCormick while picking up her son Wednesday.

It’s now a four-day weekend for students at Dingle, Tafoya, and Cesar Chavez, but it’s no holiday for the district that needs an extra day to clean.

“We have crews coming in not only on Thursday evening and then Friday to do all of the hard surfaces and crews coming in over the weekend to do power washing,” said Tom Prichard, Woodland Unified Schools Superintendent.

While the school will be sanitized, public officials are concerned it will spread even more over Memorial Day.

“Everybody says it’s the first day of summer and they want to get together and have barbecues, going outside, and it’s gonna be hard,” said Kristin Weivoda, Yolo County EMS Coornidator. “Despite our efforts of cleaning, messaging, taking breaks over the weekend, we’re still seeing a climb.”

Officials said nearly a third of the school population countywide has been affected.

“We have to make sure we get rid of it because it’s just going to keep happening more and more,” McCormick said.

Parents feel the district is doing the right thing. McCormick’s 11-year-old said the viral outbreak is also changing students habits.

“Every recess we have to wash our hands. We have to go to the restroom and wash or hands,” her son Shannon.

But still, kids are getting sick.

How much of impact will all these absences have on the schools’ finances?

“Our funding is driven by attendance, however, the state does allow us the opportunity to apply for a waiver and we are seeking to qualify for that,” Prichard said.

The districts and parents want these extra efforts to wipe out the virus.

“Hopefully come Tuesday after Memorial Day we’ll be good to go,” McCormick said.

The district feels four days is enough to get clean and stop the spread, which is why Tafoya and Dingle won’t close till Friday.

Cesar Community School is closed both Thursday and Friday.

More from Jennifer McGraw
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