For the first time today, our attendance has taken a dip which may or may not indicate that our turn for H1N1 at Randolph Central School is here. We are up to 14% absent in our elementary school as compared to last week when we averaged 7% and we’re at 11% in the high school when we averaged 5.6% last week. We’ll watch our numbers closely this week to see if today is an anomaly or a trend.
What we do know is that we have some children who have been identified to have Influenza A. This may also indicate H1N1. Either way, it’s important that we again review what will help prevent the spread and possibly the severity of the flu–stay home if you’re sick and stay home early in the illness.
I’ve been reading about H1N1 since last year and listening to my colleagues who’ve had it affect their school districts before ours so that we can learn as much as possible. This doesn’t make me an authority on the topic but with responsibility for our entire school community, I need to be well informed. Please realize that if you have questions or concerns specific to H1N1, you should contact your family doctor.
Here are some things that I’ve learned from listening to my colleagues and from reading sources such as the guidance from the CDC which you can read here. We recently included guidance about H1N1 in our school newsletter too.
- Stay home when sick. Flu symptoms may include fever, coughing, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, headaches, body aches, chills and fatigue. In H1N1 flu infection, vomiting and diarrhea may also occur.
- Wash your hands frequently.We have Beverly Bennett from the Cattaraugus County Health Department coming in to work with our PK-3 students for a hand washing clinic in our elementary school on October 21, November 2 and 4 .
- We are routinely and effectively cleaning all of the rooms in our buildings.
- Based on the guidance from the CDC and the Department of Health, it is highly unlikely that we will close school.