Parents in Sweet Home on high alert after report of norovirus

In order to combat the virus, officials will be cleaning classrooms and buses before, during and after school.

Posted: Dec 10, 2019 2:45 PM

SWEET HOME, Ore. -- After a case of norovirus was confirmed in the Sweet Home School District last week, Superintendent Tom Yahraes said Tuesday it's too early to worry about an outbreak.

On Monday, district leaders said staff were cleaning classrooms and buses before, during and after school and working with the Linn County Health Department.


Sarah Burton has a son at Hawthorne Elementary School. Burton was aware of an outbreak earlier in the month in Albany but was surprised to hear about a case in her son's school district. 

"I'm shocked honestly," Burton said. 

Burton sends her son off with hand sanitizer in his backpack and has him wash his hands everyday after school.

Despite the first confirmed case of norovirus, Yahraes said an average amount of students are missing school from illness. 

"We look at the numbers, so we ran those for this time last year. The first week of December, our absenteeism rate was at 91%. So it's very similar," Yahraes said. 

Yahraes said the difference now could just be awareness after the Albany outbreak.

Sweet Home has six schools and 2,300 students. Yahraes declined to say where the case of norovirus was found.

Parents say they hope to be kept in the loop if the situation becomes more serious.

"If there's something going on, the parents and families and everybody needs to know and the school needs to be taking proper precautions as per their duty," Burton said. 

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