Visalia School Re-Opens After H1N1 Flu Virus Concerns

May 5, 2009 9:08:03 PM PDT
Mountain View Elementary School filled its classrooms with students again after being shut down for nearly a week. School administrators say they still kept students of one kindergarten class at home as a precautionary measure, since the student who was confirmed to have the H1N1 virus was in that class.Administrators were on hand at Mountain View Elementary School in Visalia on Tuesday ... Handing out information sheets about the recent confirmed H1N1 case at the school. The school districts say its being extra careful to make sure everyone is and feels safe.

Doug Bartsch said, "We had extra school staff from our district office we had school nurses and school psychologists to provide information for people."

Bartsch says 17% of Mountain View students were absent Tuesday, which is higher than usual. Many parents seemed satisfied their children would be safe.

Cathy Rangel said, "I don't think they would have reopened it if it wasn't safe and I think they're doing a good job by keeping the one class out an extra day just in case."

At their regularly scheduled meeting Tulare County Supervisors ratified the health department's declaration of a local health emergency. The declaration made it easier for the health department to obtain important medical supplies from the state. Health Services Director Ray Bullick says the county was well prepared for a flu virus that wasn't as severe as some doctors expected.

Ray Bullick said, "I think the general consensus is that the level of severity that we're seeing is no worse than what we'd probably find with seasonal influenza."

The 40 kindergarten students from Mountain View Elementary School who were told to stay at home on Tuesday have been advised to be back at school on Wednesday.

School administrators say they're looking forward to having the children back at school.

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