Garcia: Schools shouldn't be closing for swine flu

The City’s public schools won’t be as panicky with the virus formerly known as swine flu as they were required to be last spring.

Superintendent Carlos Garcia sent a letter to schools this month, advising them to be on the lookout for the usual suspects; flu-like symptoms, especially high temperatures and bad hygiene.

Garcia also highlighted a list of common-sense etiquettes such as consistent hand-washing and stated, “It is extremely unlikely that school dismissal will be ordered in San Francisco. We will work closely with the public health department to minimize transmission of disease but keep schools open.”

Garcia said the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is suggesting students and staff who have flu-like symptoms should be isolated from other people until they are sent home.

Also, he is encouraging everyone gets a seasonal flu vaccine, though it won’t prevent H1N1, and stated the district is still working out its procedure for when the actual swine flu vaccination is available.

School district spokeswoman Gentle Blythe said she has not seen any spike in the number of students who have been sent home this school year with flu-like symptoms.
 

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