SPOONER — The search is continuing for what caused an epoxy odor at Spooner Middle School that forced the evacuation of the school on Nov. 10 and shut down in-person learning there for an undetermined time as some students and staff became ill.

“The district continues to investigate the matter to determine the source of the strong epoxy-like odor,” the district said in a press release on Monday. “Advanced environmental sampling of indoor air and materials took place today. This phase of sampling will include testing for Volatile Organic Compounds and Semi Volatile Organic Compounds.”

Forty students and 24 staff members have been treated at local medical facilities since the incident began Nov. 10.

“The most critical piece of this matter continues to be the health and safety of our students and staff members,” the district said. “The epoxy-like odor continues to be present in three areas of the building today. In person learning will not resume at Spooner Middle School until we are assured the environment is safe for everyone in the building. In the meantime, the Spooner Fire Department has ordered the building closed.

Students and parents were encouraged to pick up computers, materials, and other devices Monday at Spooner Wesleyan Church for remote learning, which began for the students as soon as they had their computers.

Classes remain in-person at the district’s other schools.

“We are grateful that those who were admitted to local hospitals have now returned home to their families,” the district said in the release. “Please join us in wishing all of those who have fallen ill a speedy and full recovery.”

(Copyright © 2021 APG Media)

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