Yelm Community Schools Report Norovirus Spread 

Jacob Dimond / jake@yelmonline.com
Posted 2/22/22

Yelm Community Schools has experienced an increase in student absences likely linked to the norovirus, which is a gastrointestinal illness. 

YCS Superintendent Brian Wharton sent out an email …

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Yelm Community Schools Report Norovirus Spread 

Posted

Yelm Community Schools has experienced an increase in student absences likely linked to the norovirus, which is a gastrointestinal illness.

YCS Superintendent Brian Wharton sent out an email to the district’s families last week urging parents to keep their children at home if they display symptoms of the illness, which include a sudden onset of nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramping and/or fever

“At the end of last week, we noticed an increase in student absences related to gastrointestinal illness,” stated the email. “Thurston County Public Health and Social Services has advised us that norovirus is likely causing the illness although other disease causing organisms including COVID-19 may be responsible.”

Norovirus is a “very contagious virus that causes vomiting and diarrhea,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website. “Anyone can get infected and sick with norovirus. You can get norovirus from having direct contact with an infected person, consuming contaminated food or water, or touching contaminated surfaces and putting your unwashed hand in your mouth.”

If a person’s child experiences symptoms, they can return to school once they are diarrhea free for 48 hours, fever free without medication for 24 hours, and following a school administered rapid test for COVID-19, according to the email.



Wharton also noted that as a precaution, the district has thoroughly cleaned the impacted school according to COVID-19 health and safety guidelines.

“At (Yelm Middle School) there was a very strong number identified and (they) were tested for COVID when they came back. None tested positive for COVID-19 and most had recovered from their gastrointestinal problem,” said Teri Pablo, the communications director for Yelm Community Schools on Feb. 28. “I think it was kind of a bug that went through (Yelm High School), but the four day weekend helped resolve the bug going around.”

The number of students who called in sick was not immediately available, Pablo said.

The email sent last week stated, “we appreciate your cooperation and remind students to check Google Classroom for missed assignments when home ill.”

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