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Parents voice concerns at H1N1 forum Monday night


Parent after parent lined up to learn as much as they could about the H1N1 virus in their children’s’ schools. Those answering the questions were a panel of officials from New Hanover County Schools and Health Department.

“It was real good. Very informative as to what we need to do and what precautions we need to take to ensure that the kids are safe,” said Snipes grandparent Cassandra Davis.

Gregory Elementary parent Jennifer Adams said, “It was a good opportunity for parents to get their questions answered. It might have been a day or two late.”

Some wanted to know why they were not notified sooner, but officials said they went public with the test results as soon as they received them from the state lab.

The schools will not be closed unless suggested by health officials. Still, many parents have kept their kids out of school for a day or two. “One of the reasons I was keeping my child out of school because, what are they doing, they didn’t send anything to reassure us that we have basically sanitized the building,” said Julius James, a Gregory Elementary parent.

School officials assured parents they have stepped up their cleaning. “We augmented the custodial staff with two or three extra custodians and went through a decontamination the schools and disinfecting the schools,” said Bill Hance of New Hanover County Schools.

Health officials are still investigating the H1N1 cases. Janelle Rhyne of the New Hanover County Health Department said, “We’re trying to look at our cases, look at all our contacts, and look at their travel history.”

But officials confirm the four children had not left the Wilmington area in seven days before getting sick.

In this case, the health department said it was okay to keep school in session, as long as any kids feeling sick stay home. The last day for traditional schools in New Hanover County is June 10th.

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videoConcerns continue after four cases of the H1N1 virus were confirmed in New Hanover County schools last week. School and health officials held an information session Monday night, where parents had a chance to voice their concerns and get their questions answered.

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