Manatee Bay Elementary School Reopens After Hundreds of Students Became Sick

More than 300 students reported experiencing symptoms of gastroenteritis

A Florida elementary school reopened Monday after more than 300 students became ill on Friday.

Crews spent the weekend cleaning and sanitizing Manatee Bay Elementary School in Weston after the students reported experiencing symptoms of gastroenteritis, Broward School District officials said.

Jahaziel Hall, a 3rd grader at the school, left early Friday after feeling sick but was back Monday.

"I was feeling like I was not feeling good and I was going to throw up or something," he said.

"He just had a fever, a stomach ache, and the school had called and then I came to pick him up," said his mother, Regina Hall.

Water fountains at the school weren't being used on Monday as a proactive precautionary measure, officials said. Students were allowed to bring a bottle of water.

District officials are working with Florida Department of Health experts to determine the cause of the illness, which can include vomiting, diarrhea and fever.

"Tons of kids were dropping like flies, getting really sick, vomiting, diarrhea, tons of kids were getting sick in the hallways really fast," mother Jennifer Grassia said.

Despite more than 300 cases of sick kids on Friday, parents on Monday said they trust it's safe.

"I trust that they did everything they can at this point to make the school as safe as possible," Grassia said.

"He got hand sanitizer in his bag, he going to wash his hands and I gave him extra water so he doesn't drink the water in the school," Hall said.

The school district and the health department are urging parents to take the following precautionary measures:

  •     Please encourage your children to wash their hands frequently with soap and water especially after using the bathroom and prior to eating.
  •     If your child has “stomach flu-like” symptoms, including upset stomach, vomiting, fever and/or diarrhea, please keep your child home from school.
  •     Should symptoms persist, have your child examined by his/her health care provider.
  •     It is important that your child does not return to school until symptom free.

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