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Dec 16, 2014 1:58 PM

Norovirus outbreak making way through Hampstead schools


HAMPSTEAD - Since last week more than 60 children have been absent from school in Hampstead after a norovirus outbreak began at Hampstead Central School.

The school nurse noticed an uptick in the number of cases and students who were out with the stomach bug.

By Monday, 30 kids were absent from the elementary school, and 30 stayed home sick from the middle school. Dillard Collins, principal at Central School says they're seeing improvements.

"Today we noticed we only have two new cases so in other words we think, we're hoping we're on the downside of this," Collins said.

Assistant Superintendent Dr. Roxanne Wilson says they're tracking the illness and reporting all of their findings to the state Division of Health and Human Services. Their office recommended some extra cleaning in the schools.

"We even had one of our guys come in all day Saturday, go around and catch all the door knobs, hand rails and all the desktops, wipe them down," Wilson said.

Parents were notified, and the school has posted information to their website. Tips to prevent the spread of germs include extra hand-washing and to avoid sharing food. Wilson said unfortunately they had to cancel the kindergartners' annual gingerbread house day.

The district will report back to DHHS on Friday. They hope to be back to normal by next week.


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