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CalArts campus closed

Closure prompted by spread of illness affecting at least 16 people since Wednesday

Posted: November 1, 2013 11:07 p.m.
Updated: November 1, 2013 11:07 p.m.

California Institute of the Arts is closed for classes and activities due to the spread of an illness.

 

California Institute of the Arts officials made the call Friday to shutter the college’s campus in Valencia through the weekend in hopes of containing the spread of an illness that has left at least 16 students violently sick since Wednesday.

All non-residential buildings on the campus, including studios, labs and rehearsal spaces, are closed until end-of-day Monday, according to a message posted on the CalArts website.

“All non-resident students, faculty and non-essential staff are being asked to stay off campus through Monday,” the message reads. “Only staff needed for continuing operations will be required to work through Monday, and they will be notified directly by their supervisors if they need to report for duty.”

CalArts administrators had previously shut down the school’s cafeteria and coffee shop after students reported falling ill.

Administrators also notified the county public health department of the illness, said CalArts spokeswoman Margaret Crane on Thursday.

Los Angeles County Public Health officials suspect the illnesses have been caused by the norovirus, an ailment that can quickly make a person very sick and that can take a few days to work through a person’s digestive system, according to a news release from the department.

“As you all know, over the last three days many of our students, faculty and staff have experienced symptoms of nausea, vomiting and diarrhea,” reads the post on the CalArts website. “While we don’t yet have a definitive answer on what is causing these illnesses, given the symptoms reported and the pattern in which this illness has spread, the LA County Public Health Department has said that it appears consistent with a stomach virus like the norovirus.”

“Your health and safety is our top priority, so while we don’t have conclusive proof at this point, we are taking preventative measures and providing general health recommendations to treat this illness potentially as the norovirus,” the post continues.

Norovirus can be spread in a variety of ways, including coming into contact with an infected person, consuming contaminated foods or liquids or touching contaminated surfaces.

CalArts officials are urging anyone who is experiencing possible symptoms of the illness, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or cramping, to seek medical attention.

CalArts has also added 24-hour health services staff that can be reached in person or by phone at 661-253-7830.
“In order to control the spread of this illness, we also ask that you stay in bed and limit your contact with others for three days after you recover,” reads the post on the CalArts website.

Lmoney@signalscv.com
661-287-5255
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@LukeMMoney

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