For College Park Principal Julie McCormick, fears of such an outbreak have hit her personally; her daughter, a Corona del Mar High School student, was diagnosed with swine flu Tuesday.
“She’s doing fine,” McCormick said. “And the second-grade class is recovering. We’re very, very cautious about sending them back before they’re completely well. There’s no reason to risk relapse. People’s health is what matters most.”
McCormick said teachers and staff are emphasizing clean habits like washing hands frequently, and no touching above the neck.
School representatives called every parent to calm them down and talk about the situation in their native language, McCormick said; 65% of College Park parents speak Spanish. Letters went home in English and Spanish; the latter version was crafted Monday by the district’s translator.
PTA President Michelle Pommier “cleaned out the shelves at Target” to buy large bottles of hand sanitizer for every classroom, she said.
And the district sent three maintenance and operations workers to College Park Friday to sterilize every door handle, counter top, faucet and desktop, McCormick said.
Both students and staff have contracted swine flu this school year, but exact numbers are unavailable, district spokeswoman Laura Boss said. There have been no reports in the district of fatalities or severe illnesses, she said.
“This is an issue that affects us all, so we feel strongly about keeping our schools and public informed,” Boss said. “Every appropriate precaution advised by the OC Health Care Agency is being followed.”