Eastern Howard School Corporation cancels class Tuesday citing lack of nurses, number of sick students

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GREENTOWN, Ind. – Eastern Howard School Corporation canceled class Tuesday because the district has a number of sick children and no nurses available.

The district issued a statement on its website saying nurses weren’t available and it couldn’t get any substitutes. More than 200 children were out sick on Friday, and school officials didn’t want to risk having class since a medical staff wasn’t available.

“Unfortunately, this morning (our school nurses) indicated they or their children have contracted the virus and wouldn’t be available," Eastern Howard School Corporation Superintendent Dr. Tracy Caddell said. “It was not a difficult decision today. Safety and making sure our kids are going to be OK is paramount."

The school plans to reopen Wednesday and will make up the day on Presidents' Day. The school posted last week that a stomach illness had come to Eastern Elementary. The school brought in extra custodians to disinfect and perform a "deep cleaning" of classrooms and other areas. The school was also consulting with the Howard County Health Department. The district had asked parents to keep their students home if they were experiencing symptoms.

School officials said they're dealing with an outbreak of viral gastroenteritis, a highly contagious illness that causes headaches, vomiting and diarrhea, among other symptoms. Most people recover quickly and without seeking medical attention.

From the school's website:

Due to illness, Eastern will be closed today, January, 17th 2017

Eastern is canceled today. Our nurses are not available today and we were not able to get any substitute nurses. With over 200 children out of school on Friday ill we are uncertain what might happen with children and staff sick, and no medical staff available. We will continue to scrub the facility and plan on having school tomorrow. Thank you for understanding and again, our apologies. We will make this day up on President's day.