Butler Co. School Working To Contain Norovirus Outbreak

BUTLER (KDKA) – The South Butler School District is trying to contain a norovirus outbreak.

Out of more than 2,400 students in the district and four school buildings, only the South Butler Primary School was affected by the virus last week.

The primary building has a little less than 500 students in grades K through 3rd grade, but last week Superintendent Dr. David Zupsic knew something wasn’t quite right.

“We noticed a lot of our students were coming down with symptoms very similar to the stomach flu, actually on Wednesday, we had 28 students leave early with those symptoms.”

The next day, attendance at the primary school was down to 71 percent.

The school nurse called the Pennsylvania Department of Health and was told it was most likely the norovirus, which is very contagious. Letters were sent out to parents, then the district went into action.

“We were able to use disinfectants throughout the building, wiping down desks, tables, cafeteria, restrooms,” said Dr. Zupsic. “We were also able to rent a machine that acts similar to a fogger, able to spray door knobs and high-tech areas – computers, keyboards and pads.”

Dr. Zupsic says thankfully the district had a saving grace. School was out Friday for a teacher in-service day and Monday due to a snow day, giving the district more time to clean.

Angie Alcantara has two children at the primary school.

“Both my kids did end up getting sick over the weekend. They are better now. The district did bring in the cleaning crew; I hope it is all taken care of,” she said.

It seems that way, attendance is now back up to 91 percent.

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