FromThe New York Times: Swine flu still is shuttering many New York City schools, and students are popping up among adults in stores, parks and libraries, places they are often forbidden to visit unsupervised. But their newfound freedom was accompanied by some fear, as both students and parents worried about the flu’s spread. Thirty public and private schools have closed in the last week, including three more Queens public schools and a South Bronx charter high school on Wednesday, because of unusually high level of “influenza-like illness.”
ALSO...from The Detroit News: Officials shut all buildings in the Oak Park (Mich.) School District today because an eighth-grade student at Oak Park Preparatory School was diagnosed with the H1N1 flu. Crews will disinfect surfaces that students and staff might come into contact with.
Earlier...from The New York Daily News: An assistant principal at a school in New York City has died from the H1N1 flu. Mitchell Wiener, 55, died Sunday, six days after he got sick and four days after he was hospitalized with a temperature of 103. Four students at Intermediate School 238 in Queens also have confirmed cases of the new H1N1 virus, but Wiener had a particularly bad case that shut down his kidneys and ravaged his lungs. The city decided Sunday to close an addition five public schools because of concerns about the flu. There now are 11 city schools that have been closed by the Health Department.
From The New York Daily News: Three New York City schools in Queens have been ordered closed for a week after an assistant principal at Intermediate School 238 was hospitalized with the city's first serious case of swine flu. As a precaution, officials have closed IS 238, IS 5 and Public School 16 -- all hit with a rash of sicknesses and absences. The 4,475 affected students are due back in class next Friday.
From The Washington Post: U.S. health officials have retracted a recommendation that schools close for as long as two weeks if a student catches swine flu, a move that reflects growing confidence that the outbreak may be milder than initially feared.
...From the CDC: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have revised their guidelines regarding school closures and the H1N1 flu. A CDC statement:"School closure is not advised for a suspected or confirmed case of novel influenza A (H1N1) and, in general, is not advised unless there is a magnitude of faculty or student absenteeism that interferes with the school’s ability to function....Schools that were closed based on previous interim CDC guidance related to this outbreak may reopen."
....From The Associated Press: U. S. health officials are taking another look at their advice about closing schools to prevent the spread of swine flu. The acting chief of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that one reason to close schools is to prevent the virus from spreading to the community. But in the case of school clusters reported so far, the virus already is in the wider community. The government now recommends that schools with confirmed cases of swine flu close for at least two weeks. Dr. Richard Besser says the CDC is looking at revising that, but he didn't give details.
- From The San Antonio Express-News: As a new wave of South Texas schools closed their doors this week in response to swine flu cases, federal health officials are starting to conclude that it may no longer be the best approach at this point in the outbreak. New school closures were announced Monday in Rio Hondo and Donna. The Texas Education Agency reported that nearly 300,000 students at 462 campuses across the state had been sent home in response to swine flu cases.
- From The Washington Post: Montgomery County (Md.) School Superintendent Jerry D. Weast is taking issue with the closing of Rockville High School to stem the H1N1flu outbreak. In his memo on the shutdown, Weast said, "We do not believe that this is the right decision given the lack of compelling evidence for continued closure provided to us by state and county health officials."
- Betco Corp. will have a free webcast on the H1N1 flu on Wednesday (May 6) at 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time. The 45-minute presentation will cover H1N1 facts and misconceptions; disease prevention strategies; skin care; and surface disinfection. The webcast is open to all. To receive registration information for the webcast, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
EARLIER SWINE FLU HEADLINES:
- Hundreds of schools across the United States remain closed this week as authorities try to prevent the spread of the H1N1 virus (New York Times). In Michigan, three Detroit area high schools and two school districts announced they're closing temporarily because of the virus (Detroit News)
- From the U.S. Department of Education: Frequently asked questions about the H1N1 flu and schools.
- From The San Antonio Express-News: Health authorities are recommending that the Schertz-Cibolo-Universal City Independent School District remain closed for an additional week. The first confirmed cases of swine flu in Texas were students in the 11,000-student district. The Guadalupe County Health Authority has recommended that the district keep all of its schools closed through May 8. Other Guadalupe County public schools — including the Marion, Navarro and Seguin Independent School Districts — already are closed through May 11.
- From The Los Angeles Times: A tally by the U.S. Department of Education Thursday found that 298 schools around the nation had shut down because of the swine flu outbreak. That is triple the number that had been closed on Wednesday; about 172,000 students are affected. School systems in Seattle and Huntsville, Ala., are among those districts that have closed after health officials discovered suspected cases of the flu.
- From The Washington Post: The bulk of the closures are in Texas.
- From The Boston Globe: Boston health authorities have closed the Harvard University dental school's treatment clinic, and the university has suspended classes at all three of its major schools on itsmedical campus as a precaution after a third-year dental student developed "a probable case" of swine flu.
From The Fort Worth Star-Telegram: The Fort Worth (Texas) school district has shut down all 144 of its campuses until at least May 8 after four probable cases of swine flu were found in district students. The 80,000-student district decided to close upon the advice of Tarrant County health officials. As an added precaution, officials advised parents to keep all children who live in the district away from day-care centers, movie theaters, restaurants or other public places. In addition, the Cleburne (Texas) school district shut down all 11 of its campuses after four probable cases were reported.From The Austin American-Statesman: All public high school sporting events in Texas have been postponed until May 11 because of concerns over the spread of swine flu. The University Interscholastic League, which governs Texas high school sports and extracurricular activities, cancelled regional track meets set for this weekend and postponed every baseball and softball game. Academic competitions also were called off.
ALSO...From The Dallas Morning News: Texas officials say more than 50,000 students now are out of school because of concerns about the swine flu virus.
From The Austin American-Statesman: In Texas, all schools in the New Braunfels and Comal Independent School Districts — including private schools — will close starting Wednesday, April 29, to help curb the spread of the swine flu. Students and staffs will return on Monday, May 11. The closings are occurring at the recommendation of the Comal County Medical Authority. ALSO: More on the closings from the New Braunfels district.
RELATED....From The Chicago Tribune: A probable case of swine flu has prompted the closing of Kilmer Elementary School on the North Side of Chicago. The student, 12, has recovered and is at home, officials say. The decision to close the school was made after state health officials reported the probable case to the school district, and administrators noticed an unusually high absentee rate at the school. ALSO: From The Chicago Sun-Times: Classes at Kilmer are suspended for at least two days.
AND: From The St. Paul Pioneer Press: Minnesota health officials have reported the first probable case of swine flu in the state, a person at Rocori Middle School in the town of Cold Spring. Local officials closed that school as well as St. Boniface School, a Catholic elementary in Cold Spring, as a precaution.
MORE: From The Los Angeles Times: At least three private schools in California have been closed temporarily because of concerns about the swine flu outbreak. A Catholic school in Sacramento County, which has three students with confirmed cases of swine flu, has shut its doors for the entire week. A school in San Diego and one in Claremont were shut down Tuesday but plan to reopen today.
From The San Antonio Express-News: School systems along the Texas-Mexico border are monitoring the swine flu outbreak and deciding if they should cancel classes to prevent further spreading of the virus.
RELATED: All 14 schools and district facilities in the Schertz-Cibolo-Universal City (Texas) Independent School District remain closed because of confirmed cases of the swine flu. Listen to a podcast from Schertz-Cibolo-Universal City Superintendent Belinda Pustka updating the status of the flu outbreak. (3:17)
ALSO: An elementary school in the Richardson (Texas) district is closed today after a student tested positive for swine flu. At least two other students at Canyon Creek Elementary School are suspected of having contracted the virus.
From The San Antonio Express-News: As the number of suspected or confirmed local cases of swine flu climbed to 12, the Schertz-Cibolo-Universal City (Texas) Independent School District said Sunday it will close all its schools for at least one week.
Texas health officials have shut down Steele High School in Cibolo, where a third student now is sick with what is thought to be a new swine flu virus — one that has raised fears of a pandemic in the United States and Mexico. The school will remain closed for at least a week; extracurricular activities have been canceled, and students have been asked not to socialize while school is out.
From The New York Times: New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg says that eight cases of swine flu at St. Francis Preparatory School in Queens have been confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and as the federal government declared a national public health emergency. St. Francis will be closed Monday and Tuesday, and a cleaning company is sanitizing the building.
ALSO...From The Sacramento Bee: As reports of swine flu cases accelerated worldwide, Sacramento County, Calif., public health and church officials have closed a Catholic school in Fair Oaks because a student there is ill with what may be the new strain of influenza. Local testing showed the ailing teenager from St. Mel School didn't have a standard flu strain, so samples were sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. A St. Mel seventh-grader had been in Mexico during the school's Easter break, then became ill and went home early on Monday, the first day of class after the break. Two days later, an additional seventh-grader became ill and by Friday seven of the school's 40 seventh-graders were unwell, four of them with flulike symptoms.
AND...FROM The Columbus Dispatch: An elementary school in Elyria, Ohio, has been closed as health officials worked to contain the spread of swine flu, which sickened a 9-year-old student. The third-grader had recently visited several Mexican cities while on vacation with his family