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Swine Flu: To Close Or Not To Close
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Last week, federal health officials advised schools to shut down for two weeks if they had probable cases of swine flu. That number then went down to seven days. Now, they're no longer recommending that schools close at all, as the disease is turning out to be milder than they initially feared.

It's up to local school officials to decide whether to close, and according to State Department of Education Spokesman, Tom Murphy, they're basing those decisions on the guidelines from state, federal, and local health officials.

"And that guidance has said that you should base your considerations on closing a school on confirmed or probable cases actually in your school. So therefore if they're not in the facility, there really is no risk."

When the state's second case of swine flu was confirmed as a Middlefield public school student, Superintendent Susan Viccaro struggled with the decision whether to close the school down. She kept the school open because the student never entered the building after returning from a trip to Mexico.

"And I knew, it didn't matter which way I went, I was going to make someone unhappy."

Viccaro also decided to allow the sibling of the affected child to come back to school after staying home for two days,  following advice from health officials. These choices prompted angry reaction from some parents at a meeting Monday night.

"Where I made the mistake, is that I should have talked with, in particular, the parents of the rest of the students who are in the class with the sibling."

Viccaro says although it's been difficult, if she were to do it over, and based on what she knows today, she would make the same decisions.

Meanwhile, Wells Road Intermediate School in Granby followed the earlier federal advice, and closed it's doors last Thursday, for seven days -- as one of the attending students had a "probable" case of swine flu.