NORTH ANDOVER (CBS) – School officials announced Thursday that North Andover Middle School will be closed on Friday after a large amount of students came down with a contagious stomach virus.

North Andover Superintendent of Schools Kevin Hutchinson said about 250 students and staff members have come down with the virus. In total, 142 seventh grade students have the virus, about half of the children in the grade.

After consulting with the North Andover Health Department, the district decided to close the school on Friday and postpone or relocate other activities. In addition, the North Andover Youth Center will be closed Thursday and Friday.

School officials said a sixth grade dance was canceled due to the sickness.

All other schools in North Andover will be open on Friday.

While the middle school is closed, a thorough cleaning will take place in the building following guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control.

“This action will give our custodial staff the opportunity to disinfect all surfaces that may have been contaminated with this virus,” said Hutchinson.

Parents are asked to keep their children home from school until they have no symptoms for at least 24 hours.

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