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Dewey Elementary to reopen on Monday, May 20

Friday, May 17

Over the past three days, Dewey Elementary has undergone a deep cleaning, which has involved wiping down all hard surfaces with chlorine bleach. Additionally, an electrostatic machine that uses a chlorine tab was used to spray all surfaces on the campus, including carpet, computers and keyboards. Cleaning will wrap up this evening and between these two methods, the campus will be safe for students and staff to return on Monday morning.

All school activities, including Discovery Club, will resume on Monday, May 20. However, students will need to be symptom-free for 48 hours before returning to school. If your child still has symptoms, please keep them at home for at least 48 hours after they stop experiencing any nausea, vomiting or diarrhea. Encourage thorough hand washing for all family members. For a complete list of recommendations provided by Sacramento County Public Health, please visit our website at

If you have any health-related questions, you can contact the district’s Health Services team at (916) 971-7643 or Sacramento County Public Health at (916) 875-5881. Thank you very much for your patience and understanding this past week. We look forward to getting our students back to learning. 


Tuesday, May 14

Per directive from the Sacramento County Public Health Department, we will be closing Harry Dewey Fundamental Elementary School for the remainder of this week, Wednesday, May 15 through Friday, May 17. The school has been facing a large number of absences with students reporting symptoms of vomiting, nausea and diarrhea. We have also had several cases of confirmed norovirus.

All activities at the school, including Discovery Club, will be canceled while the school undergoes a deep cleaning. 

We will be working closely with the district and the Sacramento County Public Health Department on re-opening our school on Monday, May 20. Additional information will be forthcoming as we receive updates from the Sacramento County Public Health Department, including information on norovirus and precautions to take should your child show symptoms. Students will need to be symptom-free for 48 hours before returning to school, starting on Monday, May 20.

For any immediate questions, please call (916) 971-7643. We will provide an update via phone call and email to Dewey within the next few hours as we receive additional information from the Sacramento County Public Health Department. We recognize that this closure will be a hardship for many families and appreciate your patience and cooperation as we help to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our students and families.


Tuesday, May 14

Good evening Dewey families,

Dewey Elementary remains closed from Wednesday, May 15 through Friday, May 17.

We have received additional information from Sacramento County Public Health, which we have included below:

Some students and/or staff at Dewey Fundamental Elementary School are sick with vomiting or diarrhea. San Juan Unified is working with the Sacramento County Public Health to investigate the situation and have been advised to close school to allow for a deep cleaning on Wednesday, May 15, 2019 through Friday, May 17, 2019. From the information we currently have, it seems that the illness might be caused by norovirus. Fortunately, people infected with norovirus usually recover quickly with rest and hydration. 

What is norovirus? Norovirus is a highly contagious virus that causes acute vomiting and diarrhea. Norovirus can spread quickly from person-to-person in closed environments and group settings, such as schools and childcare centers. It is sometimes called the “stomach flu” but is not related to influenza (flu) viruses, which usually cause respiratory infection. Therefore, flu shots do not protect against norovirus.

What are the symptoms of norovirus infection? Symptoms of norovirus usually begin 12 to 48 hours following exposure, and last for 1 to 3 days. The most common symptoms are vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, and stomach cramps. Other symptoms can include a low-grade fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, or fatigue. People with norovirus can vomit or have diarrhea many times a day, which can lead to dehydration. Symptoms of dehydration include decreased urination, dry mouth and throat, and feeling dizzy when standing up. Young children who are dehydrated may cry with few or no tears and be unusually sleepy or fussy.

How is norovirus infection treated? There are no specific treatments for norovirus. It cannot be treated with antibiotics, because it is not a bacterial infection. Drink plenty of fluids to replace fluid lost from vomiting and diarrhea, and to prevent dehydration.

What to do if your child is infected:

  • Keep your child home for at least 48 hours AFTER symptoms have ended.
  • Ensure that your child stays hydrated by sipping fluids. Talk to your healthcare provider about the best types of fluids.
  • Ensure that all members of your household wash their hands often, especially after using the bathroom, cleaning, changing diapers, or before preparing or eating food. Cover all parts of hands with soap, rub lathered hands together vigorously for at least 20 seconds, and thoroughly rinse the hands with water.
  • Avoid sharing household items with your child, and if possible, have your child use only one bathroom (and increase cleaning of used bathroom).
  • Disinfect household surfaces with a solution of 3/4 cup of concentrated bleach (or one cup of regular strength bleach) in one gallon of water.
  • Work with your school or local health department to coordinate laboratory testing.
  • Contact a healthcare provider if your child is dehydrated, or if you have any concerns.

We will reach out to families with any updates, should they arise. School will reopen on Monday, May 20, however students experiencing symptoms should be kept home for at least 48 hours. Sacramento County Public Health can be reached at (916) 875-5881 if you have any questions. 

Thank you for your patience and support.
-San Juan Unified School District