Many Students Can’t Stomach the Threat of a Nasty Virus

Jenna Miller, Editor in Chief

Wantagh schools experienced an exodus of students beginning Friday, May 17 when a stomach virus began circulating throughout the district.

Though the source of the virus is unknown, it managed to spread to a high number of students and staff. A majority of Wantagh High School students did not attend school on either Monday, May 20, Tuesday, May 21, or both days, many simply to ensure that they would not get infected by the virus. The state Department of Education estimated that around 140 students in the high school alone were absent Monday.

Some teachers turned their classes into study halls on those days so that the high numbers of sick students would not miss learning new information.

News 12, the largest local news outlet on Long Island, came to the high school Monday to investigate and report on the “stomach flu outbreak,” as they described it. According to News 12, all five schools in the district were cleaned over the weekend and the Nassau Health Department monitored the situation. The district recommended that students who contracted the flu stay home for at least 24 hours, which explains much of the absences.

Some students chose to wear face masks for one of two reasons. The first is that, since the face mask covers the nose and mouth, it would lessen the chances of the wearer to contract the virus. The second is that some students thought they could possibly be sick but weren’t 100% sure, so they came to school with a face mask on to be safe.

The Nassau County Health Department has, according to Patch, classified the virus as “not a serious threat.”