NOROVIRUS is to blame for last week’s wave of sickness at The Dell School in Chepstow, Monmouthshire Council confirmed.

The school underwent a second ‘deep clean’ over the weekend and opened as normal on Monday morning, with 18 pupils and two members of staff still absent.

Attendance was significantly higher yesterday than on Thursday last week, when 107 of the school’s 406 youngsters and seven members of staff came down with a mystery illness overnight.

On Thursday the school said on its Twitter feed that significant numbers of children and some staff had been affected by a nasty bug.

Staff issued advice to parents, asking all children with symptoms of sickness and diarrhoea to stay away from the school for 48 hours, in line with public health authority guidelines.

A text message sent to parents later that day said: “Following the high level of sickness among pupils and staff today we’re asking any parents who are able to please come to school to collect their child.

“The school will be ‘deep cleaned’ this evening and tomorrow morning to eradicate any bugs that might be present following today’s high sickness levels.”

This week a spokesman for Monmouthshire Council said samples sent to its environmental health team tested positive for norovirus, but that the school had already taken the necessary steps and no other schools had been affected.

The school issued a warning on its website on Sunday night, advising parents whose children had been sick since Saturday morning not to bring them in.