Sickness among students and faculty shuts down Providence school

By: Scott Cook

Email: news@abc6.com

Twitter: @ABC6

NORTH PROVIDENCE, R.I (WLNE) – For the second day in a row, Saint Thomas Regional School in North Providence is closed due to a high number of students and staff who are sick.

“Out of caution for our entire staff and student body, we decided to cancel school both today, Friday and yesterday,” said Father John Soares, pastor of the church and school.

“Now we have a company coming in to get it all spick ‘n span and we’re planning on opening again on Monday.”

School officials aren’t exactly sure what type of sickness is going around.

The Rhode Island Department of Health is now looking into the case, but says they wouldn’t be surprised if it was a typical winter stomach bug.

“We’ve seen a fair amount of Norovirus throughout the state,” said Jopseph Wendelken, a spokesman with the Department of Health. 

“We also saw it start coming around a little earlier than usual this year,” he added.

St. Thomas Church, which is connected to the school, has not been affected by the sickness. Friday and weekend masses are still on as scheduled.

“We do communion – both the body and blood of Christ,” said Fr. Soares, “but again if you are sneezing or not feeling well, we just ask that you refrain from receiving from the cup.”

While the school plans to re-open Monday, administrators are urging students to stay home if they still feel ill.

© WLNE-TV / ABC6 2019