Contact: Collette DuValle, 317-373-2391

Health Officials Pleased With Re-Opening Of Closed Elementary Schools

Three students from Spring Mill Elementary were excluded from school today due to flu-like symptoms, while no students from IPS School 60 were excluded from attending classes today, the first day of school after each was closed May 1 due to the H1N1 flu virus. Health officials made the decision to close after one child in each school had a confirmed case of the H1N1 virus. The decision was based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations.

Public health nurses and parent volunteers reviewed health forms and checked children coming back to Spring Mill Elementary in Washington Township. There were 50 students who did not have a completed health form required for re-entry. Parents of those students were being contacted. Without a signed re-entry form, students stayed in the school gymnasium. Three students with flu-like symptoms were sent home as a result of the screening process.

As students returned to IPS 60, school nurses and staff checked the health forms, referring any children who had marks on the form to health department nurses for further evaluation. No students from School 60 were excluded for health reasons. Fourteen students did speak with a nurse about health concerns, but none led to exclusion.

If students had a fever of 100 degrees or higher, a cough with fever, diarrhea or vomiting, they would have been excluded for up to seven days.

The schools re-opened today after the CDC changed recommendations for school closings.

"We are pleased with the cooperation of our school parents, students, administrators, faculty, school nurses staff and health department workers," said Virginia A. Caine, M.D., director, Marion County Health Department. "This process was made much easier because we shared the same mission of wanting to keep our children as safe and healthy as possible," said Dr. Caine.

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