Two D51 schools on alert after more student, staff illnesses

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT) -- Some District 51 schools are on alert since more students and staff are being reported absent because they are sick.

"Generally, we are seeing some respiratory, gastrointestinal and fever kinds of illnesses," said Thomas Orr of Mesa County Public Health.

District 51's nursing coordinator notified Mesa County Public Health that two schools this week have exceeded 10 percent of students or staff calling out.

On Monday, Mesa View Elementary hit the 10 percent mark for student absences. On Tuesday, 13 percent of staff were out sick at the Summit School Program.

"What we have with the school district is an agreement with increased absenteeism," Orr said. "They let us know so we can work with them to determine if it is an outbreak or helps spread the outbreak of any disease."

Letters were sent home to families, warning them to know the signs and symptoms. Make sure students are washing their hands, and most importantly keep kids at home if they are sick to help prevent the spread of disease.

Bottom line: Don't push it, because the worst might be yet to come. The end of the flu season isn't until May.

The two schools with increased absences will be actively monitored for students who become sick at school, and staff will be doing some extra cleaning, according to the district.

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