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Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Release # 030-09
Thursday, May 21, 2009

CONTACT:
Jessica Scaperotti (DOHMH) - (212) 788-5290
Margie Feinberg (DOE) - (212) 374-5141


Health Commissioner Frieden and Schools Chancellor Klein Announce City Will Close Six More School Buildings in Response to Increased Flu-like Symptom

Students will not return to I.S. 238 until Tuesday, May 26th

May 21, 2009 — Health Commissioner Thomas R. Frieden and Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein today announced that the City Health Department has recommended closing four more school buildings in Queens, one in the Bronx, and one in Brooklyn, for up to five days after documenting an unusually high amount of influenza-like illness over a number of days. The six schools buildings will be closed beginning Friday, May 22. 

The six schools buildings are:

  • P.S./I.S. 499 (Queens College School for Math, Science & Technology, 489 students) in Flushing, which includes P993 (51 students), a school for students with disabilities. A total of 17 students were documented with influenza-like illness during the last three school days.
  • P.S. 111 (Seton Falls School, 663 students) in Eastchester, which includes P.S. 718 (Bronx Charter School for Better Learning, 345 students). A total of 12 students were documented with influenza-like illness during the last two school days.
  • P.S. 143 (Louis Armstrong School, 1,311 students) in Corona, which also includes special education classes. A total of 38 students were documented with influenza-like illness during the last three school days.
  • P.S. 203 (Oakland Gardens, 747 students) in Bayside, which also includes special education classes. A total of 9 students were documented with influenza-like students during the last three school days.
  • M.S. 113 (Ronald Edmonds Learning Center, 892 students) in Fort Greene, which also includes
    P 372 (35 students), a school for students with disabilities. A total of 16 students were documented with influenza-like illness during the last four school days.
  • I.S. 73 (Frank Sansivieri Intermediate School, 1,723 students) in Maspeth, which also includes special education classes. A total of 31 students were documented with influenza-like illness during the last four school days.

*I.S. 238 was closed last Thursday and is scheduled to reopen on Friday, May 22, 2009, for teachers and staff. The school will remain closed to students until Tuesday, May 26, 2009.

During the last week, the city closed 20 schools in Queens (I.S. 238, P.S. 16, Q255, I.S. 5, P9 in I.S. 5, JHS 74, P.S. 107, M.S. 158, Our Lady of Lourdes, I.S. 25, World Journalism Preparatory, Q233, P.S. 209, P9 in P.S. 209, P.S. 19, P.S. 32, P.S. 35, the Merrick Academy Charter School, P.S. 242, P.S. 130 and P993), one in Brooklyn (I.S. 318) and one in Lower Manhattan (P.S. 130) after documenting confirmed cases of H1N1 at I.S. 238 in Queens and unusually high levels of flu-like symptoms in the other schools. The Health Department continues to work with the Department of Education to assess the situation daily and make decisions regarding school closures on a case by case basis.

Schools Currently Closed That Will Be Re-Opening Tomorrow

School

Date Closed

Date Opening

P.S. 16Q

Friday, May 15

Friday, May 22

P.S. 255, special ed in P.S. 16Q

Friday, May 15

Friday, May 22

I.S. 5Q (Walter Crowley Intermediate)

Friday, May 15

Friday, May 22

P9, special ed in I.S. 5Q

Friday, May 15

Friday, May 22

Information on closed schools with District 75 programs is available on the link below:
http://schools.nyc.gov/Offices/District75/OurSchools/offsitesqueens.htm

The Health Department and the Department of Education are working to monitor flu-like illness in New York City schools. This information is collected daily from school administrators and evaluated by the City's Office of School Health. If a school nurse reports a sudden or sustained increase in flu-like illness — documented fever accompanied by cough or sore throat — among students seen in a school's medical room, the Health Department may recommend closing the school. Some schools will experience temporary closures in the coming days and weeks. Rather than using a simple rule to close schools, the Health Department is carefully evaluating the circumstances at each one. High absenteeism, by itself, is not a basis for closure.

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