Health & Environment Schools

Flu Concerns Close North End’s Eliot School

Concerns regarding the spread of the flu has caused officials to close the North End’s Eliot School during the first week of June, in addition to other Boston schools. Excerpts from the press release:

Superintendent Carol R. Johnson announced today that three additional Boston Public Schools will be closed for seven calendar days because of concerns about influenza. …  Eliot K-8 School in the North End will be closed next week (June 1-5) and reopen on Monday, June 8, because of unusually high levels of influenza-like illness.

Dr. Johnson made the decision to close the schools temporarily in consultation with the Boston Public Health Commission and Mayor Thomas M. Menino. Officials said they hope that the temporary closures will prevent new infections and avoid unnecessary illness.

With this announcement, a total of eight Boston Public Schools have been closed because of influenza concerns.

“Given the significant numbers of students out sick with flu-like
symptoms, we have decided to close these buildings for the next week in
order to prevent new infections,” said Dr. Johnson. “We continue to work
with public health officials to monitor attendance and health reports
from all 143 Boston Public Schools, making decisions to close schools
temporarily on a case-by-case basis.”

… the Eliot School serves 270 students in grades K-8. [The school] reported unusually high absenteeism rates today, and follow-up calls to families confirmed that many of the students are exhibiting flu-like symptoms. Officials from the Boston Public Health Commission and Boston Public Schools concluded that having so many students sick not only impedes the learning environment but also makes it easier to transmit infection. Therefore, the decision was made to close the schools for seven days, after which time most types of flu are no longer contagious.

City officials are advising students and staff from these schools to
stay at home for seven days and not to congregate at other sites. They
also advise that those feeling ill follow up with their primary care
provider. Persons without a primary care provider should call the
Mayor’s Health Line at 617-534-5050.

To minimize the spread of illness, the Boston Public Health Commission
urges the public to:

· Wash your hands frequently with soap and warm water or
use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
· Cover your cough with a tissue or cough into your inner
elbow and not into your hands.
· Stay home from work if you are sick, and keep your child
home from school if he/she is sick.
· Contact your primary care physician or visit your local
health center or hospital if you experience flu-like symptoms.

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