Recommendations about school closings for flu


San Diego County public health officials are recommending that local school campuses be closed when 30 percent of students are absent because of the flu, it was reported.

The threshold announced Monday during a public meeting between county education and county health officials is far greater than the one used this past spring, when four schools were shut down after each reported only one case of confirmed or probable cases of swine flu.

Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county’s public health officer, said school officials should also consider allowing trained volunteers and medical professionals to give swine flu vaccines on campus, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

County schools Superintendent Randy Ward will take up the issue with district superintendents at an Aug. 12 meeting or conference call, according to the newspaper.

“I see it as obviously an advantage for the community, but we have to work out the kinks,’’ such as parent permission, Ward said during Monday’s meeting, according to the Union-Tribune.

Neither Wooten nor school officials could recall vaccinations being given at schools in decades, the Union-Tribune reported.

This past spring, a private school in Mira Mesa, the San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts in Paradise Hills, Kearny High School in Linda Vista and Mission Hills High School in San Marcos were closed for several days and sanitized after each reported a single case of swine flu.

As of Monday afternoon, there have been 769 confirmed cases of swine flu reported in San Diego County since the pandemic broke earlier this year. Fourteen people have died from the virus locally, including two tourists whose deaths are counted among their hometown statistics.