Groton elementary school reopens with extra custodians in wake of stomach virus outbreak

The district is still working to figure out what caused this outbreak of sickness.

Florence Roche Elementary School in Groton reopened Tuesday with additional sanitizing measures in place after a surge of students and a handful of staff reported getting sick with what is believed to be a norovirus, according to Groton-Dunstable Regional School District.

In an email announcement Monday, Superintendent Laura Chesson noted that the school had been thoroughly cleaned and there would be extra custodians working Tuesday, WHDH reported.

More than 200 of the elementary school’s 534 students became sick last week, forcing the school to close early Friday, The Boston Globe reported.

Four staff members also reported symptoms, Chesson said according to WHDH.

Groton Virus:

The superintendent noted that any staff experiencing symptoms would stay home until they have been free of them for at least 72 hours, and parents should ensure that their children do the same, WHDH reported.


The district is still working to figure out what caused this outbreak of sickness. Though it has not officially been confirmed as a norovirus outbreak, district officials were told to treat it as such, Chesson said according to WHDH.

The town’s Board of Health already tested food, milk, and water at the school for contaminants, but didn’t find any. It was also noted that some of the students who exhibited symptoms didn’t eat the school’s lunch.

A norovirus, often referred to as a “stomach bug” or “stomach flu,” is a “very contagious virus that causes vomiting and diarrhea,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In a post to its Facebook page Tuesday morning, the elementary school shared photos of John Robichaud, director of facilities, demonstrating how cafeteria tables would be cleaned with a fresh sanitizing pad between each lunch.

See the photos below:


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