The Alabama School of Math and Science is closing its Mobile campus and sending 250 students to their homes across the state after an unidentified viral outbreak affected at least 8 percent of the student body.

“We had about 20 students that have become ill within the past 24 hours,” said Amber Day, a public relations coordinator for ASMS. “Because we’re residential, we decided to let the students go to prevent further exposure.”

The Alabama School of Mathematics and Science.

The Alabama School of Mathematics and Science.

Day said the ASMS had the Mobile County Health Department brought in to investigate the situation after several students became ill on Tuesday. It’s been confirmed to be “highly contagious,” but Day said the school nor the MCHD know what the virus is at the moment.

Day said the school was acting “on the safe side” by going ahead and dismissing students until Sunday, Aug. 16 at 4 p.m. Classes are scheduled to resume on the following morning.

“Because our students live in dorms, we want to be on the safe side,” Day said. “Of course, they’re important to us, and we want them to stay as healthy as possible.”

As for the departure, Day said the school is following the normal procedure it uses to send students during regular breaks. Currently, students are being transported at no charge via charter busses to several pickup points along I-65.

The scheduled pickup times and locations released by the school are listed below:

Evergreen (Exit 93) – Love’s Truck Stop
5:30 p.m.

Montgomery (Exit 164) – Shell Station
6:30 p.m.

Pelham (Exit 246) – BP/KFC Station
8:30 p.m.

Cullman (Exit 304) – Jack’s Restaurant
9:30 p.m.

Athens (Exit 351) – McDonald’s Restaurant
10:20 p.m.