Flu cases rise at schoolsAbout 30 kids have reported influenza-like illnesses at Minnehaha Elementary, principal Pat Driscoll said this week.
By: Matt Suoja, Lake County News Chronicle
About 30 kids have reported influenza-like illnesses at Minnehaha Elementary, principal Pat Driscoll said this week.
Minnehaha had the first “reportable cluster” of flu-like illness Tuesday, school nurse Louise Anderson said.
The Minnesota Department of Health requires schools to report when three or more students, a “reportable cluster,” from an elementary classroom are ill with flu-like symptoms or 5 percent of the student population from a school is home with symptoms. Minnehaha hit both levels Tuesday, so a report was faxed to MDH.
Most of the students are in the fourth grade. Four teachers have shown symptoms.
“It’s different from room to room,” Driscoll said. “[In] some classes there is perfect attendance.”
The Lake County Health Department and the Lake Superior School District nursing staff will offer free voluntary H1N1 influenza immunization clinics for school-age children starting the week of Nov. 9, pending availability of the vaccine.
To combat a possible outbreak, the Lake Superior School District School Board passed a set of guidelines last month – which are not set in stone – on how the school district should react to an outbreak.
Among the considerations brought forth are: In the event that 25 percent of support staff, including, cooks, custodians and paraprofessionals are out due to illness, all buildings in the district will be closed. All buildings in the district could also be closed if 30 percent of students are out with illness.
The schools would remain closed seven to 10 days.
A shutdown would also occur if 10 teachers fell ill at Two Harbors High School, seven Minnehaha, and a combination equaling seven at the Silver Bay schools.