Allen ‘back in business’ after flu outbreak

Sunday Times Newspapers

SOUTHGATE — School officials hope to enjoy a full week of classes at Allen Elementary School, 16500 McCann, after two “sick days” when about 180 students and staff suffered a stomach illness.

“We’re back in business,” Interim Superintendent Nancy Nagle said Thursday, and there were no signs that the previous week’s battle against a virus would continue.

Allen Elementary was closed Monday after more than half of the nearly 350 students called in sick Jan. 20.

Students and some staff began showing symptoms as early as Wednesday of what turned out to be a nano virus, Nagle said.

“It was just a really rapid onset with pretty severe symptoms,” Nagle said. “It’s just going around, and happened to hit a lot of kids over a short period of time.”

Custodial crews disinfected the building twice, Nagle said; on Friday evening and again on Monday in an attempt to assure parents who had “staked out” the building. When classes resumed Tuesday, 30 students were absent, of which 14 were confirmed as having the virus. By Wednesday, attendance was back at normal levels, although two students who said they weren’t feeling well were sent home.

“We do ask parents to keep them home if they’re sick,” Nagle said. “We have to depend on parents to do that.”

(James Mitchell can be reached at