School District 205 reports death of elementary student from H1N1 complications
From press release
Rockford Public School District 205 Superintendent LaVonne M. Sheffield announced with deep regret Friday, Nov. 13, the death of an elementary school student from complications of the H1N1 (swine flu) virus.
School officials were informed by the Winnebago County Health Department that tests conducted after the student’s death confirmed presence of the H1N1 influenza strain.
Dr. Sheffield said: “We extend our deepest sympathies to the family of this student, his teachers and classmates. We are taking every precaution to prevent the spread of this potentially fatal virus in our schools, but we understand that our best efforts cannot ease the pain that accompanies the loss of a loved one.”
Rockford schools continue to report student absences to local health officials daily, and consult with them closely on appropriate precautions; health officials advise that safety protocol is determined by the number of confirmed illnesses in a school, not by an H1N1-related death.
Students in Rockford’s public schools will receive free H1N1 vaccinations as quickly as they can be administered upon the receipt of parental consent forms, which were due to be returned Nov. 13.
Other precautions being taken in Rockford schools include the thorough cleaning of frequently-touched surfaces with antiseptic products, the distribution of more than 100,000 free temperature strips to parents, and the display of posters in every classroom that illustrate the proper way for students to cover coughs.
As part of a new Grief Response Plan, counselors, pyschologists and social workers are being sent Monday, Nov. 16, to work with the deceased student’s schoolmates.
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