CDC Reconsiders Swine Flu Closure Guidelines

After recommending that schools affected by swine flu close for as long as two weeks, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has begun to reconsider that time frame which has already given some 330,000 students nationwide unscheduled vacation time. “We are looking at our school closure guidance,” said CDC Acting Chief Dr. Richard Besser, “and we’re having very active discussions about whether it’s time to revise that.”

In cases of swine flu in schools, the virus was already circulating many of the affected communities, causing the CDC to rethink its two-week policy. Now the CDC says that it may allocate responsibility for quarantining students to the schools and parents.

St. Francis Preparatory School, the Queens-based school at the epicenter of the nation’s outbreak, has already reopened after being shut down for only one week. An epidemiologist with the New York Health Department called the students’ and faculty’s nine-week absence from the school “well beyond the incubation period for influenza.”