It is important to recognize that low attendance at a particular school does not indicate an outbreak of influenza. In determining whether a school merits closing, the Health Department looks for spikes in absences and follows up to determine whether schools are seeing actual increases in flu-like illness. The Health Department works with school nurses to track the number of students being diagnosed during the school day with fevers of 100.4 or above and another flu symptom, such as a sore throat or a cough. If a school experiences a sudden or sustained increase in documented flu-like illness, the Health Department may advise closing it to slow the spread of infection. Absenteeism alone is not a basis for closure.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Flu Closures and Attendance Rates Posted Daily by DOE
The DOE has begun posting the list of schools closed for H1N1 as well as daily attendance rates for all schools on its website. Here is how they have explained the process for determining if a school should be closed: