KBTX | Bryan & College Station, TX | Aggieland News

Potential Case of H1N1 Closes CS School; Local ISDs Join Others in TX by Closing; Other Events Affected by H1N1 Situation

By: KBTX Staff and Associated Press Email
By: KBTX Staff and Associated Press Email

Keep up to date with the latest information on the H1N1 situation.

CSISD School Shutting Down Temporarily
College Station ISD has announced it will be closing Pebble Creek Elementary School until May 11 due to a probable case of H1N1 in the school. The Kids Klub After-School Program will not be in session either. More information can be found by clicking here.

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Conroe ISD School Shutting Down Temporarily
Conroe ISD has announced Glen Loch Elementary School will shut down until May 11th due to H1N1 fears. Some students may have contracted it. They are awaiting tests. All other Conroe ISD schools will remain open unless otherwise decided.

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No cases of H1N1 in Brazos County. During a Friday morning news conference at the County Health Department. Officials discusses samples that have been sent to the state. But at this time there are no cases in Brazos County.

Navasota Spring Fest Postponed

Navasota Spring Fest, the annual event in Grimes County, has been postponed, according to Sandra Nobles. No new date for the festival has been set.

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Anderson-Shiro Schools Closed Through May 4

Anderson-Shiro ISD has cancelled classes through May 4. This statement was posted on the district's website:

It has been confirmed that Navasota ISD has a number of highly probable and suspicious cases of swine influenza among students enrolled in their schools.

Currently ASCISD does NOT have any probable or suspected cases of this virus at this time. However the proximity of our districts, among other factors, has led us to the decision of closing school on Friday, May 1st. In addition, Monday, May 4th is a scheduled student holiday.

School officials will continue to assess this situation, in cooperation with local and state authorities. At this time, we expect to resume classes on Tuesday, May 5th. You will receive a notification call from ASCISD on Monday evening, May 4th with details regarding the status of school for Tuesday.

We also ask parents to report student illnesses to your child’s school by calling his/her respective campus by 12 noon on Monday, May 4th.

Please continue to check our district website for more information and updates as they occur.

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St. Michael's Cancels Friday Classes
Dr. Betty Creamer, Head of School at St. Michael's Episcopal School in Bryan has confirmed classes are cancelled for Friday because of H1N1 concerns.

While there are no confirmed cases of H1N1 at the school, a student at the grade school level has been exposed to the virus. Last weekend that child was in contact with a family member who has tested positive for H1N1. Creamer says that family member lives in Texas, but not in the Brazos Valley.

School officials say the decision to cancel classes was the right thing to do and for the best interest of students and staff.

Over the weekend Creamer says, the school will be disinfected so students and staff can return on Monday to a clean and safe environment.

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Richards ISD Shuts Down Schools
Just as Navasota ISD did a few hours earlier, another Grimes County school has decided to close schools until the H1N1 panic has calmed.

Richards ISD followed Navasota's lead due to its proximity to Navasota, according to the district.

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Navasota ISD Shuts Down Schools:
Officials with the Navasota school district have decided to close until May 11th due to the swine flu outbreak.

No cases have been confirmed there, but at least two students are being tested for the disease, and Superintendent Jennings Teel said it is probable that they do have it.

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Latest Information from the Bryan Independent School District:

News Three talked with Sandy Farris, the Public Information Officer, with Bryan Independent School District Thursday night.

Farris says as of Thursday evening, there are no confirmed cases of Swine Flu within the school district.

Farris said they are closely monitoring the situation.

If there is a probable case confirmed at a specific campus, Farris said that campus would close. If two or more campuses have a probable case of the virus, then the district would temporarily close.

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Latest Information from the College Station Independent School District:

The following letter was posted on the CSISD website Thursday afternoon:

April 30, 2009

CSISD Community Member:

Several school districts in Texas and other parts of the nation have been temporarily closed in an effort to reduce the spread of the H1N1 flu (Swine Flu). As of this writing (April 30 at 5:00 PM) Brazos County (including CSISD) does not have a documented case of the H1N1 flu; however, the possibility exists that a case could be diagnosed. That being the case, it would be a good idea for all parents/guardians to have a contingency plan in place for the care of your school aged children in case CSISD must temporarily close at some point in the near future. Obviously, I am hopeful that CSISD will not have to temporarily close its doors, but we must be prepared if a case of the H1N1 flu appears in our schools.

The following precautions are being recommended, and I encourage you to take these precautions for you and your family:

-Keep your children home if they are sick. In addition, take precautions to avoid close contact with others to avoid spreading the illness.

-Cough or sneeze into the bend of your elbow or into a tissue and properly dispose of used tissues.

-Wash hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and warm water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

-If anyone in your home has flu like symptoms, be sure they receive medical care as you would for a typical flu illness.

There are a variety of resources available for you to learn more about the H1N1 flu. Perhaps the best resources are the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website at www.cdc.gov, the Brazos County Health Department website at http://www.brazoshealth.org/ and the Texas Department of State Health Services website at http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/.

CSISD continues to work with local officials related to the situation at hand, and we will communicate with you as appropriate. The best source for updated school district information is on our website at www.csisd.org.

Thank you for your support of CSISD.

Eddie Coulson
Superintendent
CSISD

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The Catholic Diocese of Austin released this letter today concerning the Swine Flu:
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ:

I have been in conversation with members of the State of Texas Health Department. There seems to be more unknown, than actually known about the swine flu virus.

We do not want to create a "panic" but the reality remains that the virus has infected people in Texas and many unanswered questions remain.
Therefore, it is wise to be cautious. For the sake of caution and respect for life, I am requesting that we do not offer communion under both species until further notice. Please do not offer the Blood of Christ at Eucharist until more is known about the virus. It seems that having the public drink from the chalice is an unnecessary risk.

This is also an opportunity to make sure all ministers of communion, ordinary and extraordinary, should have clean hands.

All Eucharistic ministers should wash or sanitize their hands after the sign of peace and before distributing communion. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are readily available. They should also repeat hand sanitizing after communion.

I would ask that following the last liturgy of the weekend, holy water from church entrances be disposed of appropriately and the containers be washed, dried and sprayed with disinfectant before being refilled.
Respect should be given to individuals who choose to refrain from sharing a handshake at the "Sign of Peace." The "Sign of Peace" can be extended verbally without physical contact. This is at the discretion of each individual person.

If you have any symptoms of the flu or severe cold, please remain at home. It is not sinful to miss Mass if you are sick; it is an act of charity.
Thanks for your cooperation. Let us pray for those whose lives have been taken in death and for those fighting the virus.

Wishing you God's blessings, I remain

Sincerely in Christ,
Most Reverend Gregory M. Aymond
Bishop of Austin

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Catholic priests will also be reading and distributing this letter to parishioners this weekend:
TO: Pastors
FROM: Bishop Gregory M. Aymond

Please publish to your parishioners these recommendations from the Center for Disease Control:

There are everyday actions people can take to stay healthy.

• Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
• Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hands cleaners are also effective.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth because germs spread that way.
• Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
• Influenza is thought to spread mainly person-to-person through coughing or sneezing of infected people.
• If you get sick, CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.

All ministers of holy Communion who visit nursing homes, hospitals and private homes to use hand sanitizer as they move from patient to patient. Hands should then be washed with hot water and plain soap as soon as possible.

Finally, I would ask you to model for your staff and parishioners appropriate responses to this health emergency: proper cough and sneezing precautions, frequent hand washing and a calm demeanor. Encourage them to follow these procedures and this will go a long way to protect everyone from harm.

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Burleson County Cancels Weekend Events

According to the Texas AgriLife Extension in Burleson County, the Playday scheduled for Saturday, May 2nd and the Little Wrangler Rodeo scheduled for Sunday, May 3rd in Caldwell has been cancelled because of Swine Flu concerns.

The events were to take place at the Buddy & Edile Lightsey Arena have been postponed to a later date.

The events were sponsored by Burleson County 4-H, and the organization is working on rescheduling them.

For more information, call Texas AgriLife Extension in Burleson County at 979-567-2308.

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First United Methodist Church of Bryan
-First United Methodist Church in Bryan sent this Letter to its parishioners Thursday regarding Swine Flu:

Dear Friends,

This Sunday, and for as long as necessary, we will be providing hand sanitizer at the entries of the Sanctuary as well as at the nursery. All children will have their hands washed and our nursery workers are prepared and trained to look after their well being.

This being Communion Sunday, those serving communion will step into the hallway to sanitize their hands before serving the elements. No person with even a sniffle will be serving communion.

We always encourage those who are under the weather to participate in worship through the radio broadcast on KAGC, 1510 on your AM dial.

Our prayers for those who suffer from Swine Flu or any malady, and we pray that the spread of this disease will be short lived.

In Christ,
Matt Idom

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UIL Postponing all Competition until May 11
Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Texas officials are postponing all public
high school athletic competition until May 11 because of the swine
flu outbreak.

University Interscholastic League Executive Director Charles
Breithaupt says that the move suspends the baseball and softball
seasons and eliminates the regional track championships which were
to start tomorrow.

The state golf and tennis championships are scheduled to begin
May 11.

The state track meet has been extended from its normal two days
to three and is scheduled for May 14-16. The meet is one of the
largest high school track and field competitions in the country.

Meanwhile, private schools leagues were divided on what to do. In a statement on its Web site, the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools said spring playoffs "remain intact with no changes."

But TAPPS officials also said athletes and schools may choose
not to play because of health concerns. The TAPPS track meet is
scheduled for May 8-9 at Baylor University.

Another group of 18 private schools in Texas and Oklahoma, the
Southwest Preparatory Conference, canceled all events for today and
tomorrow. The group's directors planned to meet today to decide
further action.


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