WATERFORD, N.J. (CBS) — The Waterford School District in Camden County is shifting to remote learning for the next three weeks. Officials said 60% of their teachers are out sick.
A catered staff appreciation luncheon on May 6 at the Waterford Township School in New Jersey ended with nearly 100 teachers and staff members ill, all showing signs of a foodborne illness.READ MORE: Crash Involving SEPTA Bus, 4 Vehicles In Philadelphia's Cobbs Creek Neighborhood
The school had to close because they couldn’t adequately staff the building.
School officials sent out this letter explaining the situation to parents, also taking further drastic steps to ensure everyone’s safety.
“We reported this incident to the Camden County Department of Health and the Waterford Township Police Department to investigate further. Although the exact pathogen is still unknown at this time, we have been advised by the Camden County Department of Health that the suspected pathogens could be highly contagious. Per the recommendation of our district physician, and for the health and safety of our entire school community, all school buildings will be closed for two weeks. We expect to reopen the buildings on Monday, May 24th. During this time, a thorough cleaning and sanitization process will be completed to help stop the spread of any foodborne germs and illnesses,” Waterford Township School District Superintendent Dr. Brenda Harring said in the letter.
“Many of the people who consumed the lunch are now reporting illness with symptoms like diarrhea, fatigue, nausea, vomiting,” Caryelle Lasher with the Camden County Health Department said.READ MORE: Woman Facing Arson Charges After Allegedly Intentionally Setting Fire At Howard Johnson Hotel In Blackwood
The Camden County Health Department is currently investigating. Meanwhile, Eyewitness News has learned that Roma Pizza in Berlin Township catered the event and even posted an apology to those affected on their social media site.
It reads, in part, “We give our most sincerest get-well wishes to the teachers, staff, students and families that have been affected by this terrible illness. We closed today for a total deep clean and sanitation to ensure the safety of everyone. Thirty-five years in the business and nothing like this has ever happened.”
Roma Pizza in Berlin Township has closed until further notice, while health officials continue to investigate the exact cause of the foodborne illness.
“The establishment voluntarily closed so that we can really conduct a thorough investigation of food storage, the property, the health and wellness of the employees there and really try to identify what went wrong here,” Lasher said.
Health officials said they have reports of some hospitalizations linked to the outbreak. As many as 97 staff members have been reported ill.MORE NEWS: Taste With Tori: Wake Coffee Roasters' Unique Way Of Selling Coffee Makes All Extra Happy In Morning
The Waterford Township School will remain closed until May 24.