Amid spreading sickness, 76 percent of students miss school at Creekside H.S. Friday

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. — Update 12/6/2019 5:20 p.m.: The St. Johns County School District said Friday that the symptoms Creekside High School students had been experiencing are consistent with Norovirus. It said it’s awaiting official confirmation from the Health Department.

Action News Jax learned 76-percent of students weren’t in class Friday.

In all, the School District said 190 Creekside students checked out Thursday, including the 19 who were sent home by the nurse with stomach-related issues.

Nicholas White, 16, had to be loaded into an ambulance after his mother said he contracted the now infamous illness at Creekside.

“He is miserable, but he’s fighting it,” Amy White said. “He threw up 21 times before I took him to the hospital.”

White spoke with Action News Jax exclusively via Facetime from Wolfson Children’s Hospital, where she said the junior is now being cared for.

“It hit him literally the moment he walked in the door from school [Thursday],” White said. “It started at 4:05, and he started throwing up and he didn’t stop. He’s in excruciating pain.”

The School District said it did a deep cleaning and a disinfection of Creekside- also using foggers- prior to school Friday, but they said only 550 of the 2300 students showed up.

Jeralyn Forcier says her daughter, Jenna, is just getting over this.

“It’s very scary because number one you think about is this a foodborne illness. Where did this happen, what did she eat?” Forcier said.

The School District and Health Department said they’ll continue to monitor the situation.

“You can wash your hands, you cannot share a bathroom, but you can’t run from it,” White said. “It’s a monster.”

Update 12/6/2019 11:30 a.m.: St. Johns County School District officials told Action News Jax that 549 out of around 2,300 students came to school at Creekside High School Friday. That is just under 24 percent of student attendance.

Original story: Action News Jax has confirmed more than 150 students checked out at Creekside High School Thursday.

It came amid a spreading sickness that forced 19 students and a teacher to be sent home.

Thursday night’s girls’ basketball game had to be canceled because the illness has ravaged the team.

Senior Ainsley Urbanski said she checked out early Thursday afraid she would get sick. She interns in the front office.

“We had a ton of people, parent after parent just like coming in, saying they have sick kids to check out,” Urbanski said.

Lisa Oldrock - a registered nurse - was taking care of her sick son Thursday night. Her son, Sean, is in the 10th grade and didn’t go to school Thursday.

“Starting in the middle of the night, I guess it was just before 2 a.m. my son started vomiting,” Oldrock said. “He’s been vomiting pretty much every hour since. It’s very horrible.”

In an email to parents, the St. Johns County School District said in part, “19 students visited the school nurse exhibiting stomach-related issues and subsequently were sent home. We have taken extra precautions to disinfect the school to ensure we are ready for normal operations [Friday].”

At the end of October, a notice went to parents at Patriot Oaks Academy - only a mile-and-a-half from Creekside - warning about many students with a stomach bug.

As for Urbanski, she’s not going back to Creekside until Monday at the earliest.

“I’m too afraid of getting sick,” Urbanski said. “I don’t want to do that.”

Action News Jax has also learned girls’ soccer won’t be traveling to Montverde for a weekend tournament due to this illness.