SOLON, OH (WOIO) - Solon Middle School and Parkside Elementary are both closed Thursday. A staff member may have traveled on the same plane as Amber Vinson, but not the same flight.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says Vinson, a 29-year-old nurse contracted the virus after caring for Ebola patient Thomas Duncan. Vinson was in Akron, OH visiting with family members from Oct. 10-13.
The district notified parents via email late Wednesday night:
A message from SOLON CITY SD:
Solon Middle School and Parkside Elementary School will be closed tomorrow, Thursday, October 16, as a precaution. We learned today that an SMS staff member traveled home from Dallas on Frontier Airlines Tuesday on a different flight, but perhaps the same aircraft, as the Texas nurse with Ebola.
This circumstance came to light late in the day and we have been working since then to get as much information as possible from public health authorities. Although we believe what the science community and public health officials are telling us about the low risk of possible transmission of the virus through indirect contact, we are nonetheless taking the unusual step of closing the dual school building for Thursday so that we can have the schools cleaned and disinfected.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local health officials were clear that they do not consider our staff member to be at risk since she did not come in direct contact with the Texas nurse and was not on the same flight. It is important to remember that Ebola is spread through direct contact with the blood or other body fluids (such as feces, saliva, urine, vomit, semen) of a person who is sick with Ebola, according to the CDC.
There was no public health recommendation to close the schools and we do not believe there is a risk to our students and staff. However, we made the decision to close Solon Middle and Parkside for tomorrow out of an abundance of caution for the safety of our students and staff.
We will stay in close communication with local public health authorities moving forward and our staff member will not be at work during the self-monitoring period to ensure she is asymptomatic before returning to school.
We will continue to communicate to you as we learn more. Please consult the CDC website for additional information about Ebola at www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/index.html.