Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

Norovirus Cancels Open House at Santa Monica High School Thursday Night

Parents receive a robo call from Principal Antonio Shelton, cancelling open house


Photo from Open House, March 2016

Back to school night has been cancelled at santa monica high school. This in a robo-call some parents of children at SamoHi received Monday night, March 6, 2017.

Open House had been scheduled for Thursday, March 9th. But principal Antonio Shelton said, stay home. The cancellation is also reflected on the district's website, http://www.SMMUSD.ORG.

We are still experiencing new cases almost daily at higher levels as is typical this time of year at Samohi," says Gail Pinsker, SMMUSD Spokeswoman. "We need everyone to keep sick kids at home for 48 hours, not send them to school sick and help with prevention by encouraging frequent hand washing at school and at home. We would like for this outbreak to be over so all schools can resume all activities!"

On February 13, 2017, in consultation with the Los Angeles County Dept. of Public Health, the Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District cancelled all after school activities, including music, athletics, dances and other social activities.

It would appear that Thursday March 9, 2017 remains a minimum day.

Norovirus infection is characterized by nausea, vomiting, watery diarrhea, abdominal pain, and in some cases, loss of taste. A person usually develops symptoms of gastroenteritis 12 to 48 hours after being exposed to norovirus. General lethargy, weakness, muscle aches, headaches, and low-grade fevers may occur. The disease is very rarely fatal. Although having norovirus can be unpleasant, it is not usually dangerous or severe, and most who contract it make a full recovery within two to three days

Here's an SMMUSD press release from the District dated 2/03/2017; we have not yet received a press release on Back to School night being cancelled.

SANTA MONICA, CA -- It was announced yesterday by the Santa Monica-Malibu School District (SMMUSD) that students from John Adams Middle School (JAMS) were potentially exposed to a gastrointestinal illness, possibly norovirus SMMUSD is working with the L.A. County Department of Public Health (Public Health) to investigate the cause and prevent further illness.

Public Health provided the following information to protect yourself from norovirus:

Wash your hands really well with soap and water, especially before eating or preparing food, and after using the toilet or changing diapers. Hand sanitizer is less effective than soap and water.

People who are sick with norovirus should stay home to avoid getting others sick and should not prepare food while they have symptoms (diarrhea or vomiting) and for 2 days after they recover.

Thoroughly clean and disinfect all surfaces using a bleach-based household cleaner. Wash clothing or bedding as soon as possible after being soiled by diarrhea or vomit.

More information is available at Frequently asked questions are available in Spanish and English.

For more information from SMMUSD, visit

"In the coming days, take preventative measures like washing your hands more frequently and using disinfectants," said Mayor Ted Winterer. "We want everyone to stay healthy and to prevent more children and others in the community from becoming ill."


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