Columbia Valley Elementary closes for cleaning after suspected norovirus outbreak

Columbia Valley Elementary closes for cleaning after suspected norovirus outbreak »Play Video

VANCOUVER, Wash. -- A suspected norovirus outbreak forced a Vancouver elementary school to close until Monday.

A message posted on the front door at Columbia Valley Elementary school says Friday classes are canceled because of the virus outbreak. Officials say to check Columbia Valley’s website for updates.

Michele Shrock brought her daughter to Columbia Valley school Thursday night.

“No I haven’t heard anything,” said Shrock, “this is the first I’ve heard of it.”

Her daughter Madeline doesn’t go to class at Columbia Valley Elementary. There was supposed to be youth basketball practice in the school gym.

“I don’t know that I’ll want my daughter to practice tonight if there’s an outbreak in the school to be honest,” said Shrock.

Columbia Valley will eventually go through the same kind of deep cleaning that crews did for Beaverton’s Rock Creek Elementary in January. Classes were canceled there after a large group of students got sick.

The same illness force Portland’s Rieke Elementary to cancel classes this past Monday after 100 students there turned up sick with suspected norovirus.

The illness often causes nausea, vomiting and diarrhea in children. It’s usually spread through contact with infected surfaces.

Bleach is often used to disinfect surfaces inside a school building.

The Clark County Health Department says it’s been years since its recommended closing a school because of a norovirus outbreak. It only makes that recommendation with ten-percent of school’s students are sick with similar symptoms.

Columbia Valley has about 500 students.

Michele Shrock’s aware of norovirus, because she works as an medical ultrasound technologist.

“It does seem odd,” Shrock said. “But I’m in the healthcare environment so I, you do hear of that exactly.  But I think that our schools are doing the best that they can as far as washing things down and washing hands but I think it’s just the environment that we live in unfortunately."