Mesa County Public Health and D51 ask families to make sure students are illness-free before returning to classrooms to ensure the virus circulating in our community is not reintroduced in our local schools.

After the closure of all schools in D51 prior to the Thanksgiving break due to illness, the district has deep cleaned and is ready to welcome students back to class. This illness outbreak was due to a highly contagious virus acting a lot like norovirus. The illness moved so quickly, there were active reports of vomiting in more than 30 schools when the district made the unprecedented decision to close. 

Over the break, a deep clean occurred at all D51 buildings to stop the spread of illness, but the virus remains in our community. Mesa County Public Health (MCPH) has confirmed a norovirus outbreak at a long term care facility and received numerous reports of people getting sick in public places days after the closure of the schools. 

MCPH recommends parents know and look for symptoms in their kids. For this illness, symptoms to watch for are: 

  • Mainly vomiting, with a very sudden onset
  • Diarrhea 
  • Fever. 

In addition, viruses like this usually come with a feeling of being worn down or overall tiredness.  While we know tiredness can be difficult to measure or quantify in certain age groups, we ask that you don’t send your child to school if you think they may have been exposed to the virus or have any current symptoms. If your child has been sick, do not send them to school until at least 24 hours after their symptoms end. There is an incubation period of anywhere between 12-36 hours after coming into contact with the virus to the time you show symptoms.

Mesa County Public Health will continue to work with D51 to monitor both student and staff illness as well as the overall community impacts from this outbreak.