Marshalltown Community School District does not need to make up the 3 days of school missed because of the H1N1 flu.
Thursday IDE Director Judy Jeffrey said the school would be allowed to skip three makeup days. Iowa schools are required by state law to hold classes for 180 days.“Given the circumstances of this unanticipated public health emergency, that we are late into this school year, that your schools already have several weather-related ‘make-up’ days scheduled, and that adding more days to already-extended school calendars will be a hardship for staff who have continuing education obligations, I am exercising my authority under the amended proclamation to suspend your obligation to add the three days that your schools were closed to the end of your school year calendars," said Jeffrey, in a statement released on Thursday.Marshalltown has 46 out of Iowa's 50 confirmed cases of the H1N1 virus. However, they are no longer testing in the county because a shortage of testing supplies and the virus is already established.
“The numbers don’t tell the story at this point,” said Tina Coleman, director of home care and public health for Marshall County. “What we need to help educate the public now is that they’re not going to see those numbers increase. Because the state is limiting the amount of testing we can do, and the only way we can get a confirmed case is to do the testing.”
The county only sent six H1N1 tests into the University Hygienic Laboratory in Iowa City on Monday. That’s out of about 30 patients who visited the emergency clinic with symptoms consistent with the virus.
Instead of confirming cases through tests, however, health officials here and statewide are doing more surveillance of patients who call flu hotlines or come to emergency clinics. They are also following up with residents who’ve shown symptoms consistent with the virus and trying to prevent the disease from spreading among people they’ve come in contact with.