Health officials do what they can to keep students safe

Reported by Claire Simms - bio|email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - A fifth case of H1N1 was confirmed in New Hanover County Wednesday afternoon, and school administrators say they are doing everything they can to keep students healthy.

Schools say they are providing as much information about the virus as possible and want the community to know the strain of flu is not as serious as health officials once thought.

"We're doing as much as we possibly can to keep the students safe and we know parents are concerned, we're parents ourselves, so we're concerned as well, but we think as a community, being armed with information is really the best thing," said Valita Quattlebaum with NHC schools.

Parents received a notice through the "Alert Now" call system in addition to a letter sent home with their child.  The notices were also available in Spanish to make sure everyone understood the message.

County leaders say the Health Department and the school system are handling the situation well.

"Information is key," said New Hanover County Commissioner Jonathan Barfield.  "Once they had a confirmed case at Gregory and at Snipes they immediately notified the school system as well as the board members to keep us abreast of what was happening and the school system was able to make a decision about what they should do."

School administrators have continued to modify their approach to the H1N1 virus and decided to disinfect school playground equipment in addition to the cleaning already done in the school buses and buildings.

"We're trying to ease the fears of the parents and the concerns of the parents and let them know that we really do need them to come to school," said Rick Holliday with New Hanover County schools.

School officials said the Sunset Park student with the flu has not been school this week and parents should not be concerned about sending their children to school.

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