School in Northeast Philadelphia closed today due to illness

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A Northeast Philadelphia school is closed for cleaning Wednesday because dozens of students are sick. (WPVI)

A Northeast Philadelphia school is closed for cleaning Wednesday because dozens of students are sick.

Crews are wiping down computers and desks inside Nazareth Academy Grade School after 75 children called out yesterday with flu-like symptoms.

The school has approximately 200 students.

This past Monday, 55 students called in sick.

On Tuesday, 75 called in sick.

"It escalated so quickly. I got together with our group of teachers, faculty, and administration to see what should we do," principal Sister Mary Ellen Gemmell said.

The decision was to completely shut down the facility for one day.

That gives administrators an opportunity to air-out the building and disinfect surfaces in every classroom.

The principal came short of describing this as a flu outbreak, but she did say the students were exhibiting flu-like symptoms including headache, fever, upset stomach, and lethargy.

Sister Mary Ellen admits that shutting down the school was a drastic measure, but in the bigger picture, it simply makes sense.

"So many people out, we thought maybe it would be better just to stop classes today and help everyone to stay healthy," Sister Mary Ellen said.

The school, located in the 4700 block of Grant Avenue, is a private co-ed Catholic School serving students grades 1 through 8.

Classes will resume Thursday.

Related Topics:
educationhealthcatholic schoolphilly newsNortheast Philadelphia
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