In H1N1: Why Do Schools Close, And When Do They Open?, we looked at the rationale behind early school closure. However, as the virus becomes more widespread, that rationale changes. Once it is in the community, closing individual schools makes less sense. There will already be mild cases in the schools that don’t close. For that reason, the policy will adjust to the evolving situation. This has already started in Seattle.
Despite the identification of seven new probable cases of swine flu, King County is easing its response and will no longer mandate that schools be closed.Instead, county health officials are asking that students and faculty stay home from school for at least seven days if they experience flu-like symptoms.
CDC will evaluate what to do for the rest of the country, and local and state health officials will advise the school systems:
With the virus almost everywhere, school closings will no longer have much effect. Only 35 people have been hospitalized with the virus.
For communities, this will move schools closures back towards what’s normally done. Remember, school lunches don’t get seved when the schools close.