CalArts Closes Campus To Contain Spread Of Contagious Stomach Bug
VALENCIA (CBSLA.com) — The California Institute of the Arts campus in Valencia was closed this weekend in order to contain the spread of a possible stomach virus.
On Friday, school officials closed all non-residential buildings on the McBean Parkway campus after more than a dozen students fell ill with a stomach bug, including Masahiko Fox.
“I would say it’s something that I would never want to experience again,” Fox told CBS2′s Rachel Kim. “I could not sleep. I was very dehydrated. I was going to the bathroom constantly.”
Although feeling better now, Fox explains that he got sick on Wednesday morning with a high fever and nausea.
The campus was expected to remain closed through the end of Monday and all non-residents were being asked to stay away.
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health is investigating what they suspect to be norovirus, the school indicated in an announcement posted online. The bug is highly contagious and can be caused by consuming contaminated food or drink.
“They immediately ordered food trucks and they’ve sent in like guys in HazMat suits to really decontaminate the building,” Abby Debusk, another student, said. Debusk, who hasn’t gotten sick, says her good friend was one of the first.
“Everybody in my class just felt sick in succession of the same two hours or so and she was the first one to get sent to the hospital,” she said.
The campus closure also resulted in the cancellation of the school’s popular Halloween party.
Since Tuesday, at least 16 students were reportedly affected. The cause remains under investigation.