No additional cases of H1N1 have been reported.
Director of Communications
Greenwich Board of Education
290 Greenwich Avenue
Greenwich, CT 06830
e mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
GREENWICH PUBLIC SCHOOLS HEALTH UPDATE
H1N1 Cases – There have been no additional reported cases of the H1N1 flu virus in Greenwich residents.
To date and to recap:
1 Case of H1N1 flu was confirmed involving a Western Middle School student on May 21, 2009
10 Cases of H1N1 flu were confirmed involving Western Middle School students on May 23, 2009
15 Cases of H1N1 flu were confirmed involving Western Middle School students on May 28, 2009
1 Case of H1N1 flu was confirmed involving a Cos Cob School student on May 28, 2009
1 Case of H1N1 flu was confirmed involving a Western Middle School student on May 29, 2009
11 Cases of H1N1 flu were confirmed involving a Western Middle School student on June 3, 2009
Total Greenwich Public Schools H1N1 Cases = 39
5 Cases of H1N1 flu were confirmed involving Greenwich residents on May 26, 2009
4 Cases of H1N1 flu were confirmed involving Greenwich residents on June 3, 2009
Total Greenwich H1N1 Cases = 48 (student and residents)
Please note that many of these recently identified cases, if not all of them, are previously screened cases and are based on local tests sent to the State over the last couple of weeks. They do not necessarily represent a ‘new’ outbreak.
School Opening Status – all schools will be open and run on schedule unless otherwise notified.
Western Middle School Absenteeism – On Thursday, June 4th, there were 36 students absent.
GDoH Attendance Guidance - The Greenwich Department of Health has issued an important notice with School Attendance Guidance for ALL schools. It has been posted to the web site – all parents and staff are urged to read the memo and to adhere to the guidelines. In summary, the guidance states that anyone exhibiting flu-like symptoms should remain at home for a minimum of seven days.
Staff members throughout the District have been instructed to send students exhibiting any flu-like symptoms to the school nurse and nurses have been instructed to send students with flu-like symptoms home from school. Additionally, District and school custodial staff have been instructed to wipe down surfaces including door knobs, railings and other hardware, etc. with an increased vigilance.
Please check the Greenwich Public Schools Web Site regularly for the most up-to-date
and accurate information: http://www.greenwichschools.org/page.cfm?p=6651
RECAP OF EVENTS/DECISIONS:
As of 6/3/09: H1N1 Cases – The Greenwich Department of Health released information on 6/3/09 confirming that eleven (11) of the H1N1 cases reported on 6/2/09 involved Western Middle School students. The State Department of Health incorrectly reported an additional sixteen (16) cases in Greenwich on 6/2/09, there were actually fifteen (15) additional cases confirmed, one was “a repeat.” Four (4) of the fifteen cases involved Greenwich residents. There have been no additional cases confirmed in any other Greenwich Public School, other than the one reported for the Cos Cob School student on May 28th.
6/3/09 WorldStrides Reimbursement – WorldStrides has agreed to refund all parents for the canceled 8th Grade Washington D.C. trip based on the following:
* WorldStrides will retain $178.00 from each full paying participant and refund the remainder of the tour price paid by the responsible party. WorldStrides will also retain any charges for t-shirts purchased.
* Refunds will be in the form of a check or credit card dependent upon the last form of payment on the account.
* Payments submitted by the school will not be refunded to parents
* Individual cancellations prior to May 25th, 2009 are excluded
Western Middle School Absenteeism – On Wednesday, June 3rd, there were 28 students absent.
6/2/09 H1N1 Cases – The Greenwich Public Schools (GPS) were notified on 6/2/09 that sixteen* new cases of H1N1 had been confirmed in Greenwich residents, however, the State Department of Health’s June 2nd website update did NOT break out how many of the sixteen cases involved students from the Greenwich Public Schools.
*The Greenwich Health Department corrected this number on 6/3/09 to fifteen(15).
Western Middle School Absenteeism – On Monday, June 1st, there were 82 students absent out of 492 students and today, Tuesday, June 2nd, there were 38 students absent.
5/29/09 - H1N1 Cases – The Greenwich Public Schools were notified on the evening of May 29th that one of the 16 new cases confirmed on May 28th of the H1N1 virus in Greenwich residents, involved a Cos Cob School student (15 involved Western Middle School students and 1 – we were told on the 29th - involved a Cos Cob School student).
Also, the State Department of Health confirmed this evening one (1) additional case of H1N1 flu virus involving a Western Middle School student.
To date and to recap, there have been twenty-seven (27) confirmed cases involving Western Middle School students and one (1) confirmed case involving a Cos Cob School student. There are 33 confirmed cases of H1N1 in Greenwich residents, 28 of which involve Greenwich Public School students.
5/29/09 - Western Middle School 8th Grade Washington D.C. trip will not be rescheduled. The District carefully considered many aspects of this decision, including the financial implication – however, the primary consideration is the health and safety of the students and staff. State Department of Health and local health professionals have assessed the conditions of Western Middle School students and staff traveling on an extended, overnight, long distance trip as being a high risk for a repeated outbreak of the H1N1 influenza. Please see letter dated May 29, 2009, from Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Betty J. Sternberg announcing the decision on the web site for more information.
* Absenteeism 5/28/09 – 156 Western Middle School students out of 492 were absent and 15 Glenville students out of 108 located at Western were absent.
* 5/28/09 Update: The State Department of Health has confirmed 15 additional cases of H1N1 flu virus in school-aged children at Western Middle School. These 15 new cases plus the 11 previously confirmed cases, amount to 26 confirmed cases of the H1N1 flu virus at Western Middle School. Please note that, per the Greenwich Department of Health’s May 28, 2009 release, there are 32 confirmed cases in Greenwich residents – only 26 of those 32 are from the Greenwich Public Schools. Also, according to the Greenwich Dept. of Health release – all of the WMS students have recovered or are recovering and none have required hospitalization.
* 5/27/09 Meeting with Health Professionals – The Greenwich Department of Health and the Greenwich Public Schools conducted a meeting at Western Middle School to provide information and answer health-related questions. State and local health professionals and school District administrators participated, including Dr. Matthew Cartter - State Epidemiologist for the State of Connecticut Department of Public Health, Dr. James Sabetta - Greenwich Hospital Infectious Disease Physician, Caroline Baisley – Director of Health for Greenwich Department of Health, Tom Mahoney – Director of Special Clinical Services and Public Information Officer, and Dr. Betty J. Sternberg – Greenwich Superintendent of Schools
The meeting was taped and will air on Cablevision’s Education Access Channel 78 from Friday, May 29, 2009 through Sunday June 7, 2009. Check the District web site for times.
* Absenteeism as of 5/27/09 – 211 Western Middle School students out of 492 were absent from school on 5/27/09. This is less than on Tuesday, May, 26, 2009 (229 were absent) and Friday, May 22, 2009 (260 were absent). 20 Glenville students out of 108 located at Western were absent today (less than Tuesday at 33).
* As of 5/26/09 there were 11 confirmed cases of the H1N1 flu virus in the Greenwich Public Schools. Please note that, per the Greenwich Department of Health’s May 26, 2009 release, there were 16 confirmed cases in Greenwich residents – only 11 of those 16 were from the Greenwich Public Schools.
* Activities/Sports - Regarding interschool activities and sports: Generally, if students and staff are not exhibiting symptoms and are in school – then activities and sports will continue as scheduled. There may be exceptions made on a case-by-case basis.
* On May 25, 2009 - The following are exceptions that have been made primarily due to the fact that either the teacher running the program and/or a number of students participating are ill and are at home:
- 5th grade Orientation at Western Middle School for New Lebanon School, Glenville School, Parkway School and Hamilton Avenue School students has been postponed
- Glenville’s Spring Concert at Western Middle School has been postponed.
- Adventure Racing for Western Middle School and Eastern Middle School students scheduled for 5/27/09 has been canceled.
* On May 23, 2009: 8th Grade Washington D.C. trip canceled - After consultation with and as recommended by State and Local Departments of Health and physicians, Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Betty J. Sternberg, canceled the Western Middle School 8th Grade trip to Washington, D.C planned for May 26-29, 2009. Dr. Sternberg said, “While this was a very difficult decision, after a thorough review of all of the facts, consultation with several health professionals at the State and local level, and two meetings with Western Middle School parents, we have decided that it is in the best interest of our students to cancel the trip.”
* Given the information available by May 23, 2009, regarding the rate and severity of student illnesses, the school medical advisor and Greenwich Hospital infectious disease physician recommended that the district cancel or postpone the Washington trip.
* By May 23, 2009, Nineteen (19), 6th grade, WMS students had experienced flu-like symptoms, were tested by a healthcare provider using the quick flu test and received negative results – these students are sick but not with a flu.
* By May 23, 2009, Fourteen (14), 6th grade, WMS students have experienced flu-like symptoms, were tested by a healthcare provider using the quick flu test and received positive results – these students are sick with a flu but at this time we do not know if it is H1N1 – the State Department of Health is conducting additional tests to determine if their flu is the H1N1 flu virus.
* On By May 23, 2009, The District did not expect to have the results of these H1N1 tests until mid to late week the following week.
* By May 23, 2009, additional cases of students with flu like symptoms at WMS have not been reported to the school or Town Dept of Health.
* On May 22, 2009, there were an uncommonly high number of absences at WMS, however, most did not appear to be due to student illnesses.
* By Wednesday, May 20, 2009, approximately 55 students had been to the infirmary at Nature’s Classroom and 19 were sick enough (multiple symptoms, fever) to send home, the other students were experiencing a range of symptoms but were not sick enough to have parents called to pick them up.
* On Monday, May 18, 2009, 130, WMS 6th graders went to Nature’s Classroom – Although it was unknown to the school at the time, one of the students had been diagnosed (using the quick test) with a “flu” and was placed on a short course of anti-viral medication. The student then reported to the school on Monday, not exhibiting any symptoms and boarded the bus for the trip. The District was unaware of any of the student’s status until Thursday, May 21, 2009.
* The decision to cancel the remainder of the Nature’s Classroom trip was made using the following considerations:
- distance from home if more students became ill
- the severity of illness in some of the sick students
- the higher probability of infection given the living situations (multiple students in bed/bunk rooms)
- amount of activity required of students
- ability to dedicate staff to students who were ill
- national attention about the spread of H1N1
For more information contact:
Caroline Calderone Baisley, MPH, RS:
Town of Greenwich, Director of Health at Tel  622-7836
Betty J. Sternberg: Superintendent of Schools at Tel  625-7425
State of Connecticut at Tel  509-7729
For more information on H1N1 flu:
* Greenwich Department of Health: www.greenwichct.org
* Connecticut Flu Watch: www.ct.gov/ctfluwatch/swineflu
* Connecticut Department of Public Health: www.ct.gov/health
* Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: www.cdc.gov
* Centers for Disease Control and Prevention School Guidance: www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/k12_dismissal.htm
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