Elementary school closed because too many students get sick there

Students at one Atlanta-area school should've been at school Monday. Instead, they stayed home.

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Rockdale County closed Shoal Creek Elementary School because too many were getting sick.

The plan is to reopen the school Tuesday, hoping the one day off can limit exposure and give those kids home sick time to recover.

Crews have spent the day and over the weekend doing a deep cleaning of classrooms, surfaces and all common areas.

The district hopes to stop the spread of what's believed to be the norovirus or a stomach bug that started going around last week.

The illness started with 11% of the school's students absent Wednesday. That doubled by Friday, with nearly a quarter of the school out sick, along with 15 teachers and staff.

This is the second time this year Shoal Creek closed because of the widespread illness. In spring, it shut down for two days, right after the closing of another elementary school for the same reason.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, norovirus is highly contagious, but usually runs its course in about two to three days. Symptoms include nausea, diarrhea and vomiting.

It's sometimes called stomach flu, but not related to the flu.

The district is urging parents with sick kids to keep them at home until they're free from any symptoms for 24 hours.

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