I hope this letter finds you all healthy. I am writing to give you an update on the H1N1 influenza and to inform you of how we will proceed with flu outbreaks within the district. We are working very closely with the Ottawa County Health Department (OCHD) to monitor the health and safety of our students. If you suspect your child has the flu, please see your health care provider.
Symptoms of H1N1 influenza include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills, and fatigue. If your child is sick with these symptoms, please keep them home from school for at least 24 hours after their fever is gone. (The fever should be gone without the use of a feverreducing medicine.) This will help prevent the spread of this illness to others.
This school year, the school closure protocol from the Centers for Disease Control and the Health Department is different from last year. Schools will not be closed due to a single confirmed case of H1N1. We know that we already have illness likely caused by the H1N1 virus throughout Ottawa County, therefore the decision to close a school will be based on the number and severity of illnesses. We continue to monitor the attendance at each building carefully. If a building’s attendance drops below 75 percent, we may consider closing the school but will make this decision in consultation with the Health Department.
The OCHD anticipates widespread illness attributed to the H1N1 virus, some of which will be confirmed but much more will be undiagnosed with symptoms. Neither the Health Department nor the District will be able to send a letter home each time we receive notification of a confirmed case. We will update you as needed, putting the safety and well-being of your children first. We are hoping that the H1N1 influenza does not spread as expected, but we all need to follow the guidelines from the Health Department to keep our community safe. These guidelines include:
- get a seasonal flu vaccination and the H1N1 vaccine for your child when it becomes available
- advise children to cover their nose and mouth with a tissue when they cough or sneeze
- wash hands often
- have children avoid touching their eyes, nose, or mouth
- keep your child home when sick with flu like symptoms
Mr. Nicholas Ceglarek, Superintendent