Pinedale schools ready in event of contagious virus
by Dawn Ballou, Pinedale Online!
May 11, 2009
Sublette County School District #1 has implemented administrative procedures so they are prepared in the event of the spread of a contagious virus. Sublette County School District Superintendent Doris Woodbury stated in a press conference last week, "We have a plan in place and we are ready."
The threshold for closure of any of the four Pinedale schools (elementary, middle, high school and Bondurant elementary) is:
- One confirmed case in the school AND
- One confirmed transmission case in the school.
Cases of flu in the community, outside of the school, do not apply towards the school’s criteria for school closure. The school would refer any student who has flu symptoms to the Pinedale Medical Clinic to be checked. It takes four to five days for test results to return to confirm any suspicions of suspected flu.
In the event the criteria were met, school officials would close the school which had the confirmed case and students would be asked to stay home. All activities would be cancelled and there would be no practices or out-of-town games during the closure. A skeleton crew would remain at the school to do a thorough cleaning and sanitizing of the school facilities, including busses. The school would put information and updates on their website, www.PinedaleSchools.org, in both English and Spanish.
The school would work closely with and follow the lead of the county health officer on closure procedure should a flu outbreak occur in the community.
Swine Flu has been in the news with a lot of media attention calling that flu situation a "pandemic". To date, there have been 2,532 laboratory confirmed cases in 44 states in the United States and 3 deaths. There have been no cases reported yet in Wyoming.
"There is more fear about it than actual danger of it," Woodbury said.
Editor’s Note: As a point of reference, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that each year, about 36,000 people die each year in the United States from regular flu and its related causes. The statistics for regular annual flu cases dwarf what is currently being released for Swine Flu, so officials are keeping a careful eye on the Swine Flu updates and the significance for the school environment. Woodbury said they are keeping a close eye on the Swine Flu reports. "We’re just monitoring it very carefully," she said.
Click on this link for the Sublette County School District #1’s Response to Spread of a Contagious Virus – Administrative Procedure Sublette County School District #1 (340K PDF)