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Why don’t they close local schools where kids have swine flu?

Vicky Eckenrode

New Hanover County schools announced May 28, 2009, that four students had confirmed cases of H1N1, more commonly known as swine flu.

In early May, as the virus began spreading in the United States, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said schools with swine flu cases should close for 14 days because of the severity of the virus among young people in Mexico. Hundreds of schools shut down across the country.

But as the strain circulating in the United States proved to be less severe, the CDC ratcheted down its guidelines. Now the health agency doesn’t advise closing a school unless so many students and faculty are out sick that the school can’t function.

Instead, the CDC recommends that school officials keep an eye out for kids who are sick and says that those who have flu-like symptoms, such as fevers with a cough or sore throat, should stay at home.

New Hanover Superintendent Al Lerch said the school system was following those latest recommendations in deciding not to shut down the schools.

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4 Responses to “ Why don’t they close local schools where kids have swine flu?”

  1. On May 31, 2009 at 3:06 pm Lee Bell wrote:

    Another reason they wouldn’t want to close the schools at the moment is that all the kids are doing the end of year tests. If they close the schools many would not even know if they passed the grade of the schools would have to remain open longer to get all the testing done and they cannot afford it. That’s not counting all the parents that would be up in arms about it because of messing up their summer plans.

  2. On June 6, 2009 at 3:39 pm kris cooley watson wrote:

    i think it is rather bizarre that schools close if the weather people even suspect snow the next day, but are not closing with a suspected/confirmed case of H1N1. my child is through with EOG testing and no one does anything the last few days of school anyway. i say err on the side of being cautious, and close for summer early.

  3. On June 7, 2009 at 2:03 pm Rushell Bongiorno wrote:

    My daughter is at Roland-Grise Middle School and the principal sent out a mass voice mail last week that two children are being tested at this time for the virus. I have three daughters, one graduated from Hoggard, one is a rising Senior and one is a rising 8th grader. From my experience, they try to find things to do the last few days of school like watching movies, etc. If our children are still possibly being exposed to this virus then it would really be safer just to end it all early! I have very young grandchildren that could become exposed as well!

  4. On June 8, 2009 at 4:23 pm Vaughn Hagerty wrote:

    Hi, Rushell. Vicky wanted to pass on the following links and updates on the Roland-Grise situation, a story that she’s continuing to follow.

    School system officials announced Friday, June 5, 2009, that test results are pending on a Roland-Grise student. The system and health department, however, said there is one student suspected of being sick whose samples have been sent off instead of two.

    The results could come back from the state lab as early as Monday, June 8, 2009. We have an online update with a handy Google map (the green markers are the current suspected cases, including the Roland-Grise student) at

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