AP NEWS

The Latest: Illness closes all schools in Colorado district

November 20, 2019 GMT

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (AP) — The Latest on a possible norovirus outbreak that has shuttered schools in western Colorado (all times local):

4:20 p.m.

All 46 schools in a western Colorado district have been closed for cleaning because of a possible norovirus outbreak among students and staff.

Colorado Public Radio reports six of the schools in Mesa County had closed as of Wednesday afternoon before the districtwide shutdown was announced. All the schools also will be closed Friday heading into the Thanksgiving break, which lasts the entire week of the holiday from Nov. 25 to Nov. 29.

Tanya Marvin, the school district’s nursing coordinator, says, “We are taking this highly unusual action because this virus is extremely contagious and spreading quickly.”

Symptoms of norovirus include diarrhea and vomiting that lasts between 12 and 24 hours.

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9:40 a.m.

Two more western Colorado schools have closed for cleaning because of an unknown infectious illness spreading among students and staff.

Colorado Public Radio reports there are now four schools in Mesa County that have closed since the sickness appeared last week.

School officials say Rocky Mountain Elementary School in Clifton would be closed Wednesday and Juniper Ridge Community School in Grand Junction would be closed the rest of the week.

Officials say Palisade High School closed last week and has since reopened, while Mount Garfield Middle School closed Monday and is expected to open Wednesday.

County health officials haven’t determined the illness and urged parents to keep their children at home if they appear sick.

Officials say the main symptom is vomiting lasting between 12 and 24 hours.

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Information from: Colorado Public Radio, http://www.cpr.org/news