Batavia Elementary closed Friday due to stomach illness - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

School closed after 200 students report illness


Crews are working to disinfect a Clermont County elementary school after nearly 200 students are reported to be sick.

The Clermont County Health Commissioner tells FOX19 that so many students called out sick at Batavia Elementary on Thursday that the school decided to shut down.

The commissioner says the children are reporting nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

"It is a little concerning because it spread very quickly," principal Renee Munro told FOX19.

"In my years of experience I've not encountered anything that's spread this quickly and moved this rapidly," echoed superintendent Jill Grubb.

School officials say they knew something was up when 160 students and teachers never made it to school Thursday.

Kathy Liming says Thursday was her grandkids' first day back after being sick themselves.

"[I thought], ‘Oh no, not again'," Liming said. "I was really surprised that the school was closing."

Once the kids were gone, the school began the work of getting rid of the germs they left behind.

"Anything the kids handled; we're cleaning desks, doorknobs, you name it it's going to be wiped down," Grubb said.

While the classrooms were home to fall parties on Wednesday, schools officials don't believe food poisoning is a possibility.

"It wasn't a one classroom, one grade level, one pizza, one knot [situation] so we don't feel like that's where it came from," Munro explained.

Health and school officials are continuing to investigate the illness reports.  No official cause has been reported yet and they say it will likely take days to find a definitive cause.

School officials are hopeful that with Friday's cancellation and previously planned teacher workdays on Monday and Tuesday, students will return in good health once the doors reopen.

Grubb says they believe the illness is contained to the elementary school and do not anticipate any school closures or event cancellations at the high school or middle school.

The Family Sports event planned for the elementary school on Thursday has been rescheduled to Monday evening.

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