Chipeta Elementary Closed Due to Mercury Exposure

Local News
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Chipeta Elementary will remain closed on Monday for additional testing after a recent mercury exposure inside the school.

Officials say the Environmental Protection Agency tested the school for liquid mercury on Thursday, and found traces of the substance in five rooms. Over the weekend, Grand River Environmental Services tested the school for gaseous mercury, and the results were taken to a lab in Denver. Those results will determine whether the school can reopen on Tuesday, and the school says they will notify Chipeta parents of that decision as soon as possible.

The D51 Lunch Lizard will be at the Ash Shelter at Lincoln park on Monday between 11 and 11:30 a.m. to provide lunch for Chipeta students.

School District 51 is announcing that Chipeta Elementary will be closed Thursday and Friday due to a recent mercury exposure inside the school.

Parents have been notified and students believed to have been exposed have been called individually.

Officials said the school closure is being taken as a precaution on the advice of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. Grande River Environmental Services is testing for mercury vapor in potentially exposed areas of the school.

Results of the testing are expected to arrive on Saturday; those findings will determine if Chipeta can reopen on Monday.

Chipeta families are encouraged to seek medical care if a child has any symptoms of potential mercury exposure, such as nausea, vomiting,skin irritation or coughing.

Administrators said the situation is ongoing and developing. Officials plan to provide updates as more information becomes available.

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