John Adams Middle School in Santa Monica to Reopen After Norovirus breakout

SANTA MONICA (CNS) - John Adams Middle School in Santa Monica will reopen today after its principal assured parents that the recent norovirus breakout has been addressed ``with an abundance of caution and the interest of community safety in mind.''

Principal Steve Richardson emailed a letter to parents Sunday, and stressed in underlined, upper-cased, boldfaced letters that any person who came down with nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or other symptoms ``must stay home for 72 additional hours after symptoms go away.''

The school was closed Friday, and the campus thoroughly swabbed with anti-viral cleaners, said school principal Steve Richardson. He and Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District officials consulted with Los Angeles County Department of Public health experts on the course of action.

About 90 of the 190 people who went on a 5-day trip to Yosemite National Park that ended Jan. 27 came down with the gastrointestinal illness last week. Norovirus is described as the most-common source of severe gastrointestinal illness in the United States.

Richardson said washing hands with soap is critical to prevent spread of the disease.

``Our custodians recleaned all of JAMS on Friday, targeting all contact surfaces in classrooms and throughout the school,'' Richardson said. Restrooms and locker rooms were especially targeted, he said.

There had been worry last week that the brothers and sisters of stricken kids could have brought the illness to other elementary or high schools in Santa Monica, but a district spokeswoman said that all schools are to be in session today.

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