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26 students in Peoria report illness following a field trip

The Peoria Fire Department treated students at Zuni Hills Elementary School for nausea-like symptoms.

PEORIA, Ariz. — Several sixth graders at Zuni Hills Elementary School reported feeling ill Thursday after returning from a field trip. 

The Peoria Unified School District said many students started feeling sick shortly after eating lunch off-campus during a field trip. The Peoria Fire Department was dispatched to the school to triage the students, but none had to be taken to the hospital, the fire department said.

On Friday, the district said the students’ symptoms appear to be improving and that 26 students in total reported symptoms. 

The district said it has been working with the Maricopa County Department of Public Health to provide data as they further investigate the cause.

All the families of sick students have been informed of the situation, the district said. 

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What is the Valley?

“The Valley” is what locals call the Phoenix Metropolitan Area. It is considered the largest metropolitan area in the Southwest.  

The Valley is made up of various major cities other than Phoenix, including:  

  • Mesa  

  • Chandler  

  • Scottsdale  

  • Tempe  

  • Glendale  

  • Surprise  

  • Peoria  

  • Gilbert  

  • El Mirage 

  • Avondale 

  • Litchfield Park 

  • Goodyear 

  • Buckeye 

Whether a city is in the “East Valley” or “West Valley” depends on where it is in relation to Phoenix.  

The cities of the Valley have a combined population of 4,845,832 people, according to the 2020 United States Census. This makes it the 11th largest metropolitan area in the country right behind the Boston and Atlanta areas. 

How big is Maricopa County?: 

Maricopa County is the United States’ 4th largest county in terms of population with 4,485,414 people, according to the 2020 Census. 

The county contains around 63% of Arizona’s population and is 9,224 square miles. That makes the county larger than seven U.S. states (Rhode Island, Delaware, Connecticut, Hawaii, New Jersey, Massachusetts and New Hampshire). 

One of the largest park systems in the nation is also located in Maricopa County. The county has an estimated 120,000 acres of open space parks that includes hundreds of miles of trails, nature centers and campgrounds. 

The county’s seat is located in Phoenix, which is also the state capital and the census-designated 5th most populous city in the United States. 

The county was named after the Maricopa, or Piipaash, Native American Tribe.  

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