Eureka City Schools Will Be Closed Today Due to Norovirus Outbreak

This is a press release from the Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services:

Eureka City Schools

An increase in student absenteeism believed to be related to a norovirus outbreak has prompted Humboldt County Health Officer Dr. Donald Baird to recommend the closure of the 10 schools in the Eureka City Schools District.

These schools are Alice Birney Elementary, Eureka High School, Eureka Adult School, Grant Elementary, Lafayette Elementary, Washington Elementary, Winship Middle School, Winzler Children’s Center, Zane Middle School and Zoe Barnum High School.

The closure will take effect tomorrow morning.

Baird’s recommendation comes on the heels of increasing numbers of children reported to have symptoms consistent with the highly contagious virus, which forced closure of three schools last week.

Absenteeism rates at all Eureka City schools have climbed since Tuesday, with rates ranging from 13 percent at Washington to 32 percent at Zoe Barnum.

“Public Health had set 20 percent absenteeism as a trigger point for closure,” Baird said, “but given the broad distribution of the virus we think the prudent course of action is to close all 10 schools.”

As of yesterday, no schools in the Eureka City district had reached the 20 percent threshold.

There is no cure for norovirus, which generally passes on its own within a few days. The CDC notes that it cannot be treated with antibiotics, because it is a viral, rather than bacterial, infection. Drinking lots of fluids is recommended to replace those lost during the course of illness.

Symptoms include nausea, fever, vomiting, stomach pain and diarrhea.

Hand washing is the best defense. Wash hands frequently throughout the day with soap and water. Hand sanitizing gels and wipes are ineffective against the virus. Clean contaminated surfaces thoroughly with a strong disinfectant such as bleach.

An outbreak in Yolo County earlier this year sickened an estimated 4,000 people, and despite exhaustive decontamination efforts resulted in the closure of several schools. The illness spread from Woodland to schools in West Sacramento, Winters, Esparto and Davis, including U.C. Davis.



  • There were two school days left until Christmas vacation; wonder if they will have to make up these two missed days later this school year. Better safe than sorry.

  • Wish they would’ve done this a couple of days ago. My son is a teacher at Eureka High and his 3 children attend Alice Burney. Hopefully everyone is well by Christmas

  • and stay at home! the entire family! isolate yourself and do some good for the community! there are people with impaired immune systems, the elderly and infants that don’t need this! so what if you are missing holiday fun, its better than damn near killing someone because you are so selfish!


    • [edit] The CDC is on there wey. Bringin poloi shots micksed whit egs that wil give u diabetes becauce thay make cakes wiht egs too make kiddos fat. AND MERCURY TWO. WHEN U GET A TEMPASHURE the merc gose to tha topp. 104 too B surely. I got the meesels an two b sure it works on tha brane!!!! And pigs to. Dont get tha neurological viris. It hearts the brane. An dont send your kido s too skool. Not GOOD. SAD. BAD.

  • What about Fortuna, Rio Dell and Ferndale, How many cases of this highly contagious virus are at these schools? My friend’s child goes to Ferndale elementary and her child has it for sure ,was diagnosed by the doctor with it today, I also overheard some people talking in the walgreen’s pharmacy today that Rio Dell school had 2 more documented cases today. I’m personally keeping my 3 children home from school here in fortuna. I really think all the schools in this area should close until this virus is eradicated, doesn’t this only make sense people.

  • Omg, how many fatalities have there been so far? It must be a significant number due to the reactions.

  • Norovirus?? Did a Chipotle open up in Humboldt that I’m not aware of?

    • All it takes is one cafeteria worker at pine Hill to take a Mexican cruise Wich is really popular this time of year to get it started ,wash your hands please

  • I am amazed that the Zoe Barnum kids “last chance kids” lead the pack in calling in sick. Too lazy to go to school ? Here is your free pass.

    • Why? Could you not sleep last night? Your wife left you? Who just looks at a group of kids in a school that has been shut down because of illness and says something mean?

  • It’s too bad we can’t focus on feeding each other and boosting immunity as a society. But the weak ones should die off I suppose.

    • Somehow I doubt whether the school system is full of starving children. Especially since the most likely source of spreading this fast is the feeding of said children. Sheesh.

  • It is certain that it is spreading through the general community too so being cautious is good for all, not just kids.

  • unbridled phillistine

    Its finals week in Fortuna or I would have my boy stay home and game all day. His grades not so great, So he has to go. (High School that is)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *