The St. Cloud Hazmat team was still at the Paynesville Area School as of Tuesday afternoon, trying to determine what made around a dozen students sick and in need of medical attention.
Paynesville Schools Superintendent Robert Huot says the signs of illness in students appeared during Monday night’s choir concert, when several students fainted.
WJON reports Huot says they were still unclear on exactly what is causing the problem, and until crews find the source, no one will be allowed in the building.
DuDonne Andri, Community Relations Coordinator at the Paynesville Area Hospital, says they tested the kids for carbon monoxide levels, influenza, and did viral cultures. So far all of the tests have come back negative. She says they detected high, but still normal, levels of carbon monoxide. The viral cultures could take a couple weeks to get back. Andri says the emergency room treated a total of 19 people, another eight were treated at the clinic.
All of the students have been released from the hospital. The hospital is working with the Minnesota Department of Health on the incident.
The first call for emergency help Tuesday was made at about 9:30 a.m., the building was then evacuated, and the school sent the students home at 11:00 a.m.
Around 1,000 students attend Paynesville area schools.