Posted: Friday, 07 February 2014 2:00PM

Update: CO Ruled Out at Sprinfield Schools

Tips came in that indicate that carbon monoxide was not the issue at a Springfield School yesterday morning. KEYC reports that State Health Department officials say it's called a mass psychogenic illness - which means many kids vomit out of nerves. Superintendent Keith Kottke was contacted but unavailable to talk. He recently sent out a letter explaining what parents can do.

ISD #85   12 South Burns Avenue, Springfield, MN 56087  507-723-4283
 “Learning for All”
February 7, 2014

Mr. Keith Kottke, Superintendent                                                507-723-4283

Mr. Jeff Kuehn, Elementary Principal                                          507-723-4286
Mr. Pat Moriarty, High School Principal                                     507-723-4288
Springfield Public Schools has been cleared for occupancy.  Beginning at noon today, Friday, February 7, 2014, students, parents, and staff may reenter the building to pick-up necessary belongings.  Homework is considered a necessary belonging.
In consultation with Dan Tranter, Indoor Air Supervisor at the Minnesota Department of Health, the school building has been cleared for occupancy. Test readings for carbon monoxide(CO) levels within the school building continue to remain at 0. Our understanding is that CO levels of 1 or 2 are not uncommon and within a normal range. Additional testing for carbon dioxide, oxygen, and other hazardous chemicals, has been performed throughout the entire building and they have been reported to be a non-factor.  Testing has been completed by IEA(Institute for Environmental Assessment), Centerpoint Energy, and the Springfield Fire Department.
The boys and girls basketball game vs. BLHS will go on as scheduled this evening. As added precautions, we will have members of the fire department present with their air quality readers.
In consultation with Mayo Clinic Health Springfield Center lab work results on students that were first transported there yesterday revealed normal CO levels.  It isn’t ruled out that this may have been a result from these students receiving oxygen as soon as they did. It isn’t uncommon for situations to occur where one student becomes ill that others around them may become ill due to anxiety. What was concerning was the amount of students that fell ill at the same time.
The school’s response has been to cautiously treat this incident as if it were a result of CO.  The school has looked into factors where the affected students may have ridden the same school bus or ate something specific at school breakfast that morning, but no common factor has been found.                     The school has completed extensive air quality testing; had our HVAC contractor inspect the function of that system, and added carbon monoxide detection in the school building. For added precautions on Monday morning the school will monitor CO in and around the bus drop off zones stop and school buses to rule out any other possible CO source.   The school will wait until later next week to re-open the auditorium to allow for further testing as added preventative measures.
Thank you for your help as we try to bring normalcy back into our school community. Please contact me if you have any questions or concerns.
Keith Kottke Superintendent 507-723-4283