DENVER – Parents are being warned about an outbreak of norovirus at Oakland Elementary School in Denver's Montbello neighborhood.
“It’s kind of scary, actually, to know that a lot of kids are getting sick,” said Robert Dorsey, whose 5-year-old son attends Kindergarten at Oakland.
Will Jones, the DPS media relations director, said the outbreak began Monday when a student went home sick and was later diagnosed with the intestinal disease.
“On Tuesday, a secretary came in feeling ill,” he said. “She was checked and also diagnosed with norovirus.”
Jones said district officials reached out to Denver Environmental Health to determine the proper protocol for limiting the spread of the disease.
“They shut down the salad bar in the cafeteria,” he said, “not that it was the source, but because there was so much contact. A lot of kids go in and get salad and have a lot of hand contact there.”
Jones said health officials also instructed DPS to do a thorough scrubbing of the entire school.
“All of the hard surfaces will be scrubbed down Thursday night,” he said. “There will be another thorough scrubbing on Saturday night.”
“I’m glad the school is taking the right steps, as far as taking care of the problem,” said Antonio Garcia, an Oakland parent.
“I actually worked in food service,” Dorsey said, "so I know that scrubbing is the best way to get it done."
Symptoms of norovirus include diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, stomach pain, fever, headache and body aches.
Jones told Denver7 that parents whose children are sick should not allow them to return to school until they are symptom-free for 48 hours.