Elementary school closes after 100+ students, staff sickened

ROCKDALE COUNTY, Ga. — A Rockdale County elementary school has shut down after more than 100 students came down with norovirus.

Pine Street Elementary School has 667 students. On Friday, there were 100 students and eight staff members out sick. Monday, they had 93 students and 18 staff members out and Tuesday, there were 98 students and 16 staff members out sick.

Because of the high number of students and staff who have come down with the gastrointestinal illness, officials decided to close down the school Wednesday and Thursday.

“As the health of our students and staff is our top priority, Pine Street Elementary will be closed on Wednesday, March 20, 2019 and Thursday, March 21, 2019.

We plan to reopen on Friday, March 22, 2019 but ask that you continue to keep sick children home until they are free from vomiting or diarrhea for 24 hours without medication,” Principal Kim Vier wrote in a letter sent home to parents.


The school says it is working with the Rockdale County Health Department to determine the cause of the illness and try to stop it from spreading any farther.

The school provided the following information to parents about norovirus.

“Symptoms of Norovirus include nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. Symptoms usually develop in 12-48 hours after exposure and most people get better in 2 to 3 days. People can also be infected and have no symptoms. Infected individuals can easily spread the illness to others through contaminated food, drinks, and surfaces. Hand washing and cleaning common touch surfaces are the best ways to limit the spread of illness. It is important to know that alcohol-based hand sanitizers are generally not effective against Norovirus. Hand washing is highly encouraged.”