Mosaic Parents & Guardians,
The first week of April, we noted that several students and staff members were sick with stomachaches, vomiting, and diarrhea. On Friday April 5th, absences and students sent home sick hit an alarming level, so high that we notified the New Mexico Department of Health Epidemiology and Response Division, and have been working closely with an epidemiologist to investigate the cause. The initial thought was Norovirus which is a very contagious virus that causes vomiting and diarrhea. After we reported the concern, an investigation was conducted which found that other schools within the Aztec district had elevated numbers of the same sickness.
An environmental scientist came out and investigated food preparation areas, and personnel. Despite not thinking it was environment-related, extreme precaution has been taken and every possible cause investigated. We are currently awaiting confirmation on the Norovirus from the Department of Epidemiology. Extra precaution was taken by our cleaning crew, in each classroom. In addition, we sent out education regarding hand washing to each teacher, to review and reinforce with students. Finally, we have been compiling daily reports to the epidemiologist regarding related absences and students sent home ill.
Sickness and absence numbers have improved drastically and we are now at normal levels. Your child’s safety is always our utmost concern. If this illness affected you or your child/children, we thank you for your assistance and patience.
As a reminder the single most effective way to prevent the spread of illness is hand washing. Remind your child/children to wash hands frequently and especially first thing when home from school or a day out. Always follow the rule that your child should be fever, vomiting, or diarrhea free 24 hours without the use of medication, before returning to school.
Parents, students, and teachers: we appreciate each of you, and know this has been difficult. We hope you find answers and comfort in knowing the specifics of how we work to keep our Mosaic students healthy and safe.
Erica Candelaria – School Nurse
Jena Darnell – Heath Assistant
Jenn Tree – Health Assistant
Diane Mittler – Principal
Amanda Knight – Director of Operations