April 30, 2009 in City, Idaho

Health officials: Minimal risk at Spokane school

By The Spokesman-Review

After investigating a concern about a Spokane Public Schools student, health officials have determined there’s minimal risk.

Health officials were concerned that a child who attends Sheridan Elementary School, and related to the Spokane man suspected of having the swine flu, may have been exposed.

How districts are responding

Several Inland Northwest school districts are in the process of sending letters home to parents updating them on how the district is handling swine flu concerns.

Spokane Public Schools says business is usual, for now.

But officials are cautioning parents to keep sick children home and remind them of the basics of preventing illnesses.

“Our schools will remain open until we are advised to close them,” officials said in a press release.

They continue to develop letters for parents with updated information, providing precautions for those who have flu-like symptoms and have recently traveled, and resources, said Terren Roloff, school districts spokeswoman.

“If individuals have traveled to Mexico, California, Texas or New York City in the last seven days or have been close to someone who has, and also have flu-like symptoms, please contact your health care provider,” the letter states.

The Coeur d’Alene School District is in the same holding pattern as Spokane-area schools. Officials are cautioning parents of the dangers of the illness and offering prevention advice.

Schools are running per usual, and parents are encouraged to keep sick children at home.

No swine flu cases have been identified in the North Idaho Panhandle, health officials said.

So far, Central Valley School District has not sent a letter home to parents, but with a possible Spokane County case of the swine flu that could change, officials said.

“What we have been doing is keeping it low key,” said Central Valley spokeswoman Melanie Rose. The district has received only a few calls from concerned parents, and the administration is answering their questions.

“We are using this as an opportunity to remind children to wash their hands,” Rose said.

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