Parents seek assurances PS 12 in Woodside will be deep cleaned after norovirus outbreak

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WOODSIDE, Queens — Rhea Tashe, and her children, 7-year-old Shela and 5-year-old Kalden, have walked by PS 12 repeatedly looking for signs that New York City Department of Health workers are thoroughly disinfecting their Woodside school after an outbreak of the norovirus or stomach flu earlier this week.

"I am worried," said Tashe of Woodside. "Where is the deep cleaning of my school?"

But a Department of Education spokeswomen assured PIX11 News that the school is being thoroughly disinfected over the weekend after scores of students got sick.

A total of 210 students out of a more than 1,280 enrolled stayed home Thursday either due to illness or fear of the outbreak spreading.

"The incubation is between 12 hours and two to three days," said Dr. Robert Glatter, emergency physician at Lenox Hill Hospital.

"Chlorine-based disinfectant on surfaces is a very important way as well as heat to sterilize the school," Dr. Glatter said.

The emergency physician said the outbreaks of norovirus at the Woodside school, at the Chipotle food chain, and at nursing homes and cruise ships can be attributed to one thing that's easily corrected.

"Hand washing is most important," Dr. Glatter said. "You have to ask 'have you washed your hands?'"