HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A public meeting was held in Hamilton Township, New Jersey Sunday night for parents to get more information on Enterovirus D68 following the death of a 4-year-old boy.

Preschooler Eli Waller, who attended Yardville Elementary School in Hamilton, died at home on Sept. 28.

Eli Waller (Credit: CBS 2)

Eli Waller (Credit: CBS 2)

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed Friday night that Enterovirus D68 was involved in Eli’s death.

As 1010 WINS’ Roger Stern reported, there were answers but they weren’t always satisfying to parents.

When told, for example, that classrooms would be carefully scrubbed, some parents asked about the school buses.

“There’s no cleansing throughout the whole day of the bus, so there’s germs going from one kid to the next kid and the next kid,” one parent said.

“I am scared. And I think you all should be scared too because she spends seven hours a day in that school,” said one mother whose daughter has reactive airway disease.

Linda Bonfonte has a grandson in the same school.

“As a parent and a grandparent, just pray and hope that your child and everyone else’s child has a good immunity. That’s sort of what it comes down to,” she said.

April Zey said she’ll send her 5-year-old to kindergarten, but with extra precautions.

“Make sure that he’s washing his hands and taking care of himself that way,” she said.

Jessica said she left the meeting unsure of whether she’ll send her preschooler to day care.

“Those are the kids who are the most at risk is the 2-year-olds, the 3-year-olds, the 4-year-olds,” she said.

Parents were told that schools in the district are working overtime to scrub classrooms and make sure students wash their hands.

“We’re ramping up cleaning. We’ve added staff, in terms of hours, additional hours, to make sure surfaces are clean,” said Superintendent James Parla said.

Some parents, however, still weren’t satisfied.

“The communication in this district needs to be better,” one parent said.

School officials said they’re doing their best to keep parents informed.

Meanwhile, Eli’s father released a statement Sunday saying in part, “He was a beautiful mix of eagerness and hesitancy, need and striving, caution and surprise, all of which were grounded in a pure, unconditional love.

Click here to read the full statement

“…My wife and I simply cannot thank you all nearly enough for the roles you played in Eli’s life. And while our hearts break at his passing, our hearts also overflow with overwhelming gratitude.”

Eli’s parents said they are in the process of starting the First Day of School Foundation, which will provide support for students involved in special education.

For more information on specific fundraising events for First Day of School Foundation, email
firstdayofschoolfoundation@gmail.com
.

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