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Franklin Middle closed for norovirus outbreak

Franklin Middle School will be closed Thursday, February 28 and Friday, March 1 in an effort to stop the spread of a norovirus that has infected a significant number of students and staff this week. All afterschool activities today, Wednesday, February 27, were also cancelled, and there will be no after school activities or sports Thursday and Friday.

The school will reopen Monday, March 4.

A larger-than-usual number of sick students was first reported Friday, February 22, and the Weld County Health Department was called in to consult with District 6 staff. District 6 cleaning crews cleaned and disinfected the school over the weekend, and have been cleaning and disinfecting with additional personnel every night this week. However, more than 100 students were reported sick today with a number having to be sent home during the school day. Several staff members are sick as well.

“We have been in consultation with the Weld County Health Department and have followed the cleaning protocols and health precautions that have been recommended,” Superintendent Dr. Deirdre Pilch said. “Despite all our efforts, the norovirus continues to impact a significant number of students and staff. We believe closing the school Thursday and Friday will help those who are infected to recover and help stop the spread of the virus.”

The incubation period for the norovirus is up to 48 hours, which means the people can be carrying the virus, spreading the virus and have no symptoms. Norovirus is also a highly contagious, hard-to-kill virus that takes very specific procedures and time to eliminate.

Extra cleaning crews will work over the next few days to again disinfect every surface in the building. Franklin staff will not be allowed to access the building during the closure.