Camden County school district closes all buildings due to foodborne illness

WATERFORD, New Jersey (WPVI) -- A foodborne illness is forcing an entire Camden County school district to return to online learning.

In a letter sent to parents and the school community on Monday, officials with the Waterford Township School District said more than 60-percent of the staff who attended a luncheon last week became sick and are continuing to recover.

Officials said the event was catered by an outside vendor.

School officials said the Camden County Department of Health advised them that the suspected pathogen, which is unknown at this time, could be highly contagious.

Per the recommendation of the district physician, and for the health and safety of the school community, officials said all school buildings will be closed for two weeks.

The letter to parents said all buildings will be disinfected. The buildings are set to reopen Monday, May 24.

"I recognize that last-minute changes to our schedule can be problematic for some families. However, our top priority is always the health and well-being of our staff and students," Dr. Brenda Harring, Superintendent, Waterford Township School District, said.

School officials said they will provide additional instructions to parents and students for the two weeks on Tuesday.

The letter noted common symptoms of foodborne diseases are nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, and diarrhea. However, symptoms may differ among the different types of foodborne diseases.
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