Changes around city due to swine flu

April 30, 2009 8:41:02 PM PDT
The swine flu is prompting a number of changes around town. [SWINE FLU: Symptoms, questions and answers and more]
[SCHOOL CLOSINGS: Map of closings related to swine flu]
[INTERACTIVE: Interactive guides to spread of swine flu]
[CHAT TRANSCRIPT: Questions answered by local expert]
[TRAVEL ALERT: What the CDC wants you to know ]

The Galveston Houston Archdiocese is making a huge change as the result of this flu outbreak. Parishioners will notice the next time they attend mass.

In the meantime, school districts and the city are also making changes as flu protection products fly off the shelves.

Mary Breedlove is on a quest.

"Hand sanitizer, Purell, whatever you can use," said Breedlove.

Unfortunately, many others have been ahead of her. At drug stores and grocery stores around the city, the once-well stocked shelves filled with medical masks and hand sanitizer are now bare. Breedlove would know. This hasn't been her only stop.

"I went to Target. They were out," said Breedlove.

As concerns about the swine flu grow, even the Galveston-Houston Archdiocese is making changes. In a letter to all priests Thursday, Cardinal Daniel Dinardo writes it's prudent for the church to take precautions. So until further notice, he has suspended the distribution of wine from the shared chalice. Communicants will only receive bread.

In Bellaire, the city has postponed the opening of the leisure pool as a precautionary measure. It was supposed to open this weekend, but now there's no set date.

At Dobie High School on Friday, buses will not be rolling out as previously planned. On Thursday morning Pasadena ISD cancelled or postponed all out-of-district trips. That includes a $700 choir trip to Disney World that students and parents have been saving for all year.

"It was not an easy decision but if one child gets sick as a result of a trip or being exposed to other students, then we're also morally and ethically responsible," said Candace Ahlfinger of Pasadena ISD.

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