March 10, 2006

OMAHA, Neb. — Westside High School reopened on Friday, but more than 400 people did not return to class or went home sick. Also Friday, the Douglas County Health Department confirmed that the outbreak was norovirus.

The school canceled classes on Thursday because of the outbreak, which health officials suspected immediately was norovirus. About 250 students and staff went home with flu-like symptoms on Wednesday.

Crews spent Wednesday evening and most of the day Thursday disinfecting surfaces in the school.

Students went back to school of Friday, with the exception of 465 high-schoolers and staffers, according to district spokeswoman Peggy Rupprecht. Repprecht said that of those, 328 reported some type of illness. The remainder stayed home as a precautionary measure.