Several schools back in session after closed due to illness - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Several schools back in session after closed due to illness

St. Ambrose closed Wednesday to be thoroughly cleaned. (Source: http://www.saintambroseschool.us) St. Ambrose closed Wednesday to be thoroughly cleaned. (Source: http://www.saintambroseschool.us)
BRUNSWICK, OH (WOIO) - St. Ambrose School in Brunswick were closed on Wednesday due to a high volume of absences because of illness among students and staff. Other schools taking precautions included St. Rita Elementary School in Solon, closed Thursday, and University School, the Shaker campus, was closed Wednesday and Thursday due to a flu outbreak. 

There are 506 students at St. Ambrose and 120 of them were out of school on Tuesday with flu symptoms. On Monday, 75 kids missed school with stomach problems and other issues. The growing number of sick kids led to the decision to close for the day. A letter to parents was posted on the school's website.

"Kids have come in and gone home with sore throats and fevers, all that stuff, it's been unpleasant for a lot of people," said Nathan Baxendale, the school's principal. "The decision was made simply for the health and safety of all our students, as well as of our faculty and staff members."

Baxendale said the building was sanitized thoroughly by a crew from DDS Cleaning, who sprayed and disinfected everything that anyone may have touched.

The Medina County Health Department is aware of the flu outbreak at St. Ambrose. So far, the outbreak has been limited to the St. Ambrose community, but that can change quickly, according to Lisa Strebler with the health department. 

"It can happen anywhere you have a large number of people congregating and are there together over a long period of time," Strebler said.

School officials are urging parents to keep kids home until they are fully recovered. According the Cuyahoga County Health Department, 100 people have been hospitalized with the flu in the past two weeks, an increase from 25 from the same time frame in 2013. It is not an outbreak at this point, but a significant increase. 

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