Contra Costa Schools To Re-Open After CDC Changes Closure Guidance
May 5, 2009
Contra Costa County health officials are no longer closing schools because of H1N1 (swine flu) and the five schools already closed because of probable cases will be re-opened as soon as possible.
The decision was made after the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued new guidance on Tuesday that schools no longer needed to be closed unless student or staff absences interfere with the school's ability to operate, said Dr. William Walker, Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS) Director and County Health Officer.
"We are following the CDC's recommendation not to close schools. Because the H1N1 flu appears to be less severe than initially feared, we feel that school closures are no longer necessary. However, we still recommend that anyone who is sick stay home and we urge people to continue practicing good hand washing and cough etiquette," Dr. Walker said.
Ill students and staff should not go to school, and anyone who comes to school with flu-like symptoms (fever with cough or sore throat) should be isolated from others at the school and sent home immediately.
There have been a total of 11 probable cases of H1N1 identified at schools in Contra Costa. Two new cases tested probable Tuesday at Edna Hill Middle School in Brentwood and Dougherty Valley High School in San Ramon. Neither of these schools will be closed.
Students tested probable for swine flu at five elementary schools. Highlands Elementary School in Pittsburg was closed on April 29 and is scheduled to re-open Wednesday. Brentwood Elementary School in Brentwood, Coyote Creek Elementary School in San Ramon, Lone Tree Elementary in Antioch, and Shore Acres Elementary School in Bay Point all were closed Monday and will re-open as soon as possible.
More information on the new guidance is available on the CCHS website: www.cchealth.org or the CCHS Health Emergency Information Line at 1-888-959-9911.
Short status updates also will be issued online through Twitter, sign up to follow CCHS at www.twitter.com/CoCoHealth.
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