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UPDATE: Classes at Paynesville Area Schools Canceled for Wednesday, Cause of Illnesses Still Unknown

Photo by WJON.com’s Abby Faulkner

PAYNESVILLE - Classes at the Paynesville Area Schools have been canceled for Wednesday.  That’s after several students became ill this (Tuesday) morning and were brought to the hospital.

Read a letter on the situation from Superintendent Bob Huot 

Meanwhile, the St. Cloud Hazmat team has left the Paynesville Area School after spending the day trying to determine what made around a dozen students sick and in need of medical attention.

The St. Cloud Fire Department reports that crews left without any conclusion as to what caused the illnesses.

Paynesville Schools Superintendent Robert Huot says the signs of illness in students appeared during Monday night’s choir concert, when several students fainted.

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Huot says they’re still unclear on exactly what is causing the problem, and until crews find the source, no one will be allowed in the building.

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DuDonne Andri the Community Relations Cooridinator at the Paynesville Area Hospital say 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 32 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 today 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.

Crews do not have any plans to go back out to Paynesville tomorrow.

Around 1,000 students attend Paynesville area schools.

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