Hamilton reopens following swine flu closure

May 4, 2009 10:06:39 AM PDT
One HISD school in the Heights reopened ahead of schedule today. Hamilton middle school had been closed since Thursday after a possible case of swine flu was found there. [SWINE FLU: Symptoms, questions and answers and more]
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But over the weekend, the Houston Health Department gave the district the OK to reopen.

Parents we spoke with didn't think this would happen this quickly. They thought they would be out of school for at least a week, maybe up to two weeks. They were mostly glad that wasn't the case.

"We are OK with it because I know they wouldn't bring our children back if nothing would be wrong," said parent Lori Anderson.

"Oh my God, who is it? I hope I don't know them and if I do know them, I feel very bad for them," said 7th grader Tori O'Brian.

O'Brian says there was a lot of concern over how long the suspected student may have walked the halls of the school undiagnosed. Those fears vanished when health officials gave the all clear, saying the school was safe for students to return.

"The call came around 5pm," said Anderson.

Many parents say the call from the district officials announcing of the reopening allowed them to breathe a big sigh of relief.

"They already lost a lot of time in September for Ike and at this point it's the uncertainly. We don't really know what is going on," said parent Claudio Carugadi.

Health officials say a student at Hamilton had contact with someone who had a confirmed case of H1N1. The student never developed any symptoms, but the school was closed out of precaution. Students were happy to take that extra time, despite the reason.

"I was having fun staying at home, but I'm glad to be back in school because I get to see all of my friends again," said O'Brian.

Officials urge parents and students not to let their guard down and keep practicing preventative measures, like frequent hand washing.

Parents with students in HISD can keep up to date with school closings due to the flu outbreak bay calling the district's information hotline at 713-556-6005. It is open weekdays from 7am to 7pm.

SEE ALL SWINE FLU-RELATED SCHOOL CLOSINGS

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