California school forced to postpone all games amid flu outbreak

Jonathan Wall
February 2, 2012

San Francisco (Calif.) Saint Ignatius College Preparatory won't be playing sports for at least the next five days after 300-plus students and at least 30 faculty members were stricken with a stomach illness that forced the school to close its door for the rest of the week.

As the San Jose Mercury News and multiple Calfornia news outlets reported on Wednesday, the flu outbreak forced the school to postpone Wednesday's boys' basketball game again Sacred Heart Cathedral (California) Preparatory, as well as a boys' soccer game against Junipero Serra (California) High.

Other games, including girls' soccer and basketball, were also put on hold, after the school was forced to close its doors for the rest of the week.

Schools officials had considered closing for a day to disinfect before reopening on Thursday, but then decided against it after the number of students calling in sick reached 50 on Tuesday. Another 90 students ended up going home due to the very same illness.

"We're working with the school on cleanup," San Francisco Department of Public Health spokeswoman Colleen Chawla told the San Jose Mercury News. "Given our advice, they didn't think they could get it done overnight."

Based on the severity of the flu outbreak, it makes sense that the school would cancel all games, regardless of their location. The last thing you want at this point is to play a game and have a kid from another team contract the virus and spread it to other students.

Health officials are still trying to figure out how the outbreak started in the first place, but Dr. Tomas Aragon, San Francisco's chief medical officer, believed it most likely started with a student who vomited in an "often-used doorway."

"A student vomited on central doors, on the rods that open these big doors." Aragon told Returers. "Then the bell rang and a lot of students went through that door."

And on that note, I'm going to go buy a couple economy-sized bottles of Purell.

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