School has no current plans to close due to swine flu, Principal says

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In the past week, Carmel High School has seen an increase in the amount of students absent or sent home due to sickness. Many of those cite the flu as the source, but since the State of Indiana no longer tests for H1N1 since the overwhelming majority of cases test positive for swine flu, there is no confirmation.

However, the school has made extended efforts to deal with the rush of students to the nurse’s office, which was busiest last Tuesday, Oct. 6. According to Principal John Williams, the school opened more areas for sick students to wait in, since they were standing outside in the hallway due to the high influx over the past week.

“We maintained our protocol,” Williams said.

Though the school advises students to stay home if they have a fever or suspect they are ill, the school currently has no plans to close. Williams said that the school board is currently asking, “What is the right thing to do as this (trend) progresses?” But right now, there is no existing mandate from the State to close when a certain percent of students are absent from the school, Williams  said.

This is not to say, however, that the school will not close in the future. Williams said that Superintendent Barbara Underwood would make such a decision if the situation changes. She would consult the Department of Health and the School Board in such a situation. By Michelle Hu <mhu@hilite.org>

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