Gloucester County Department of Health & Senior Services Statement Regarding Washington Township High School Absenteeism on February 23, 2006
Washington Township High School's Business Administrator contacted the Gloucester County Department of Health & Senior Services this morning. The concern expressed regarded a 22% student absentee rate. There are 3,057 total students that attend this institution ranging from grades 9 - 12, 672 students were absent today. The reported illnesses were all gastro-intestinal in nature.
Of the 22% reported ill, 552 students were absent in the 9 - 10 building alone. (This total represents approx. 36%). Again, the major complaints are gastro-intestinal in nature.
At present, the County's Division of Health has coordinated efforts to work with both High School Administration and the State Department of Health. This office is proceeding with viral studies. Two specimens have been collected to date, and forwarded to the State lab for processing. More will follow as obtained.
Additionally a Registered Environmental Health Specialist conducted an inspection with food handlers within WTHS. No conclusive findings resulted.
No determinations can be made at this point regarding the cause of illnesses. We will continue to monitor the status of Washington Township High School student illnesses.
We continue to stress regular and thorough hand-washing. Also, should someone know they are sick, they should stay home.