Stomach bug forces closure of all 5 Ocean Township schools Friday

Posted: Updated:
OCEAN TOWNSHIP -

A bad case of a stomach bug in Ocean Township forced school officials to cancel classes for Friday.

All five of the township’s schools will be closed and undergo disinfection after an illness spread around Ocean Intermediate School earlier this week. School officials say that the illness resembles the norovirus and left students feeling nauseated.

Mother Lisa Imbro says that her 10-year-old daughter Julia is one of the students who went home sick.

“She came home off the bus and immediately said, ‘I don’t feel well,’” Imbro says.

Officials say that 25 students went to the school nurse Tuesday to say they were sick. By Wednesday, 180 students called out. On Thursday, 45% of the intermediate school student body stayed home – 150 were sick and the rest stayed home as a precaution.

Superintendent Jim Stefankiewicz tells News 12 New Jersey that after consulting with the Monmouth County Health Department, he decided to shut down all the schools for the rest of the week.

“Because we have siblings that are in those schools of kids who may be impacted,” he says. “It's probably just a good opportunity to close the district down on a Friday. It gives us the weekend to clean everything."

The schools and the buses will be cleaned over the weekend so that they are ready to go by Monday.

The superintendent says that he hopes the three-day weekend gives everyone a chance to rest up and feel better.

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