Wicomico Health Dept. Notified About Health Scare at Pemberton Elementary
Pemberton Elementary School (Photo: WBOC)
SALISBURY, Md.– Eight kindergarten students at Pemberton Elementary School in Salisbury had fevers Wednesday, according to Wicomico County Public Schools, which officials said resulted in an investigation of health concerns.
It started Wednesday afternoon when three students reported having asthma-like symptoms. The three students were transported to Peninsula Regional Medical Center for medical evaluation. School officials said that later in the day, say a fourth student may have gone to PRMC for medical attention after seeing a private physician.
School officials said parents/guardians of kindergarten students were informed about the multiple illnesses by a SchoolMessenger call on Wednesday. Students were also given a letter to take home.
Later Wednesday, Principal Curt Twilley made a call to all Pemberton families. In the call he said, "Today, three students in a classroom were transported to PRMC for breathing issues. Following the third student being transported, the Salisbury Fire Department was called to check for possible environmental issues in the room which has since been ruled out.
"Students on the B Wing were moved to the gym for the remainder of the day. The facilities department has investigated further and found no mechanical issues in the B Wing.
"A level three cleaning will take place this evening in the classroom involved along with the Music Room, Art Room, Computer Lab and Cafeteria. A level three cleaning involves using cleaning agents that kill several virus strains that may have been the underlying cause.
"If you have a kindergarten or pre-k student we ask that you monitor their temperature in the morning. Students will a temperature of 100 degrees or greater should remain home until they are fever free for 24 hours without medication.
There is no evidence at this time of our school being affected by any of the viruses currently being publicized in the media. Thank you and have a nice evening.”
According to school officials, facility services staff conducted an extensive cleaning in the classroom and other rooms used by that kindergarten class before they got back to class on Thursday.
Pre-k and kindergarten students are being granted excused absences today for all families that decided to keep their student home as a precaution.
At 11 a.m., the school reported 53 student absences, just below the 10 percent threshold that triggers notification of the Wicomico County Health Department.
School health officials said they had already contacted the Wicomico County Health Department on Wednesday afternoon about the circumstances occurring at Pemberton Elementary.
School and school system staff are working cooperatively with the health department on continued surveillance of all students and staff at the school, according to officials.
The school is contacting a parent/guardian of every absent student to inquire whether the student is ill or is being kept home by the parent/guardian as a precaution.
Diane Pellegrino, supervisor of school nursing services, was at Pemberton on Thursday to assist school staff with calls.
If the student is ill, the school will document the symptoms, which may include fever and congestion.
Twilley will make another SchoolMessenger call to all families and staff members later Thursday.