ROXBORO, N.C. (WNCN) – Nearly 1,000 students did not attend school in Person County Friday, but the absences are not all being connected to a recent “gastrointestinal illness” outbreak, officials said.
The schools had 79 percent attendance on Friday meaning that 980 students were not in attendance.
This comes one day after more than 650 students did not attend class.
Also Friday, Person County Schools confirmed that two samples had tested positive for norovirus with the State Laboratory. The state will continue to check specimens. The Health Department is encouraging staff and students to vigilant by washing their hands with soap and warm water for 15 seconds.
Although the numbers jumped by more than 300 students, Person County Schools Superintendent Danny Holloman said there’s no way to attribute all the absences to sick students since this is a holiday weekend and some students may have already left for vacation. Some students may have stayed home as a precautionary measure as well, Holloman said.
Students at three schools, Person High School, Helena Elementary and Woodland Elementary, were affected by the illness beginning on Wednesday.
School officials in Person County said that more than 100 students and teachers went home or were out of school on Wednesday after the outbreak at the three schools.
Symptoms of the illness include diarrhea, vomiting, and a low grade fever which are similar to the symptoms of noro-virus, school officials said.
About 84 students at Person High and six teachers went home Wednesday with symptoms. Helena Elementary reported 17 absences and Woodland reported three people were sick.
Person County School Superintendent Danny Holloman said the county health department and the CDC were both notified about the outbreak.
The school district has asked students and staff with symptoms to stay home for at least 24 hours.
School officials also advised students and staff to wash their hands frequently with soap and water.