School District Ready To Handle Flu Pandemic

By Charles Sercombe

If the H1N1 flu strain hits Hamtramck, the public school district is prepared to handle a pandemic.

Also known as “Swine Flu,” medical experts say there is a possibility half the population of the country could come down with it. Some are saying this is developing into a national crisis.

Vaccinations for the flu won’t be available until mid-October, when the flu season is already in full swing. And to make matters worse, it’s unknown if the vaccine will even be effective.

Regardless, Superintendent Tom Niczay said he and his staff spent the last several weeks putting together an emergency plan.

If there is a pandemic, Hamtramck High School will be opened to the public to allow health care providers assist the sick.

If Wayne County officials call for closing all schools, students will remain in touch with teacher through emails. For those students without Internet access at home, school assignments will be mailed to them.

Niczay said that vaccinations will be offered to the public at the high school sometime in late October or early November.

In the meantime, the first lesson kids will be given when returning to school next week is to wash their hands frequently and cover their mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.

Teachers and students who do come down with the flu will be ordered to stay home. A brochure called “What is a Pandemic?” has been sent to the families of students.

A copy of the emergency plan has been sent to community leaders, agencies and area charter schools. Copies of the plan are also available at the district’s administration office on Roosevelt St. The office is located nest to Keyworth Stadium, east of Jos. Campau.

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