Rhinelander School District's Pelican and Crescent elementary schools are closed today after large numbers of students went home sick this week. The school district closed the schools on the recommendation of the county health department.
The high absenteeism is attributed to gastrointestinal and upper respiratory problems.
Pelican was closed Friday, and due to high absenteeism at Crescent elementary school, the school district asked parents and guardians that they are welcome to take their child home also today, even if they are not ill. The students that cannot be picked up will take the bus home at the end of the day. The Crescent school CHAMPS program is also cancelled.
Oneida County Health Department Director Linda Conlon says over the weekend there will be an intense cleaning...
"....just decrease that exposure time from person-to-person is made for the benefit of the children and hopefully break the chain of spread of infection...."
Conlon says they're using a tried-and-true method to stop the spread...
"....you really go over with a bleach-to-water solution very carefully all the high-touch areas. For example, all the door knobs, the desks, the tables in the cafeteria and they do a thorough cleaning from top to bottom..."
Conlon says it's a good reminder to prevent the spread of illness...
"...washing your hands, staying home when you are sick, staying home for 24 to 48 hours after you get well...people can still transmit even after they're starting to feel better..."
Pelican elementary school will open again Monday.