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WestConn Closes Campus As Virus Spreads To More Than 100

Danbury's Western Connecticut University
Danbury's Western Connecticut University Photo Credit: File

Western Connecticut State University in Danbury is closed Monday due to more than 100 students suffering from a viral-like illness, the university said in a statement.

John B. Clark, university president, said he made the decision to close the university following discussions with the State Department of Public Health, the Danbury Department of Health, Danbury Hospital and the WCSU director of health services, "as best and most conservative course of action to protect our university community from infection and spread of the disease."

He is also encouraging students who are ill, to go home if possible to keep from spreading the illness.

While the source of the illness has not been identified, symptoms are diarrhea and vomiting.

The college spent the weekend cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting both campuses. Clark said closing Monday will give staff more time to finish the work.

“Additionally, this will give our professional staff an additional day to further consult with state and city health officials to determine next steps," Clark said. "While the latest data we have about the disease is encouraging, we want to make doubly sure that the university is safe and secure for all before reopening."

Clark added that as more details about the disease and those adversely affected become available, periodic informational messages will be sent out through the university's website, email and other social media.

For anyone who is experiencing vomiting, diarrhea or stomach pain, follow these guidelines:

  • If possible, go home to limit spread to others on campus.
  • Drink plenty of fluids.
  • Clean all surfaces contaminated with vomit or stool with a bleach solution.
  • Launder soiled clothes right away. Students who live on campus should contact Housing and Residence Life staff to assist with room cleaning if necessary.
  • If you become dehydrated, go to the nearest emergency department. (Signs of dehydration include dizziness, dry mouth, decreased urination, headache, muscle cramps, thirst.)
  • You may return to campus two to three days after you have recovered.
  • If you are unable to go home, stay in your room, report your situation to your Resident Director, and stay in touch with your family or others who will check on you.

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