All Mesa County schools closed Thursday and Friday due to suspected norovirus |

All Mesa County schools closed Thursday and Friday due to suspected norovirus

Closing the schools temporarily allows all rooms to be disinfected

Denver Post

In an unprecedented move, all 46 Mesa County schools will close Thursday and Friday as two highly contagious viruses continue to sicken hundreds of staff and students.

The closure means that the district’s approximately 22,000 students won’t return to class until Dec. 2 because the schools are closed the entire week of Thanksgiving.

“We understand that a district-wide closure is an inconvenience to families and a rare step to take,” Superintendent Diana Sirko said in a statement Wednesday. “While our custodial crews are working tirelessly to disinfect schools, the rapid spread of illness has led us to the conclusion that closing all schools to allow our custodial crews and environmental health and safety team to perform an intense cleaning of the school buildings is the best course of action.”

School officials said that hundreds of students and staff have become sick with a virus, which county health officials believe is norovirus. On Wednesday, school district nursing coordinator Tanya Marvin said it appeared a second virus has also emerged. That means that some students have become sick twice in recent weeks.

“The combination of the two has created an unprecedented spread of illness,” Marvin said in a statement.

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