Glenwood Springs—The rapid spread of norovirus in Mesa County has the full attention of Garfield County schools and health officials. The Garfield County Public Health Department has taken quite a few calls from childcare centers and workplaces that have led to the closure of all 46 school campuses just a few miles west. Public Health Director Yvonne Long says norovirus does spread quickly and easily but it’s not uncommon this time of year, especially in schools. “That is one of the most widely seen diseases/infections that circulate throughout our population at any given time,” Long says. She says norovirus cases tend to pop up not only in schools but in senior care facilities. Long says her department has been in close contact with every school in the area for the last couple of weeks. She says newsletters have been sent out to students and parents to be aware of the virus, the symptoms and how to respond. She says norovirus causes severe vomiting and diarrhea and will usually run its course in 24 to 48 hours. She says anyone experiencing these symptoms should stay home because it is highly contagious. Frequent and thorough hand washing is recommended along with wiping down counters and other surfaces with bleach and hot water.