RNJ News Department

Wallkill Valley postpones high school games against Hackettstown due to hand, foot and mouth disease

A sixth school district in New Jersey has announced that some of their students developed the Hand, foot and mouth disease also known as Coxsackievirus.

The outbreaks so far have occurred at Don Bosco Prep in Ramsey, Pequannock, Kinnelon, High Point and Hunterdon High schools.

On Monday, September 12 Wallkill Valley High School reported that some of their student-athletes on the football team developed the Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease, according to Director of Athletics Daryl Jones said.

The Wallkill Valley football team scrimmaged High Point Regional High School on September 1, Jones said.

The administration team responded by having the maintenance staff disinfect the locker room area and then the entire school to help prevent the spread of the virus. This process will be continued for several days, jones said.

Following the first case of the virus several other football players reported symptoms and were referred to their doctors for treatment, jones said.

After discussions with the school nurse, the Sussex County Department of Health and our upcoming football opponent our administration has decided to postpone all football practices and games for the current week and anticipate resuming practice on Monday, September 19th, Jones said.

“Unfortunately, all football games at all levels this weekend vs. Wallkill Valley High School will be postponed to ensure the safety of our athletes.  Being proactive, we have decided to postpone all events with Wallkill Valley High School including today’s boys and girls soccer games to ensure no spread of the virus to our athletes, Athletic Director,” Bobby Grauso said.

“There is no need for added concern as Hackettstown High School has not played any opponent that has had any confirmed cases of the virus,” Grauso said.

It is imperative that our students exhibiting symptoms of HFMD stay home and see their doctor for the best course of treatment, Jones said.

All student athletes should practice preventive hygiene including washing hands regularly and not sharing drinks, water bottles, etc.

For more information on the hand, foot and mouth disease go to www.nj.gov/health or www.cdc.gov

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By: Jay Edwards
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