Amelia schools re-open after cleaning, swine flu death

By Gene Petriello - bio | email

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - It took all week to clean the schools in Amelia County. But, today the bells are ringing and the school administrators hope the swine flu is gone for good.

Mother Stefanie Creswell is glad the schools were closed last week, just days after elementary student Heaven Wilson died from the swine flu.

"I felt like it gave them time to clean the schools. And, any children that were sick, it helped them stay home and get over whatever they had instead of bringing it into the school," Creswell said.

It appears to be working. On Monday, about 7 percent of the students were absent. That's still higher than school leaders would like to see, but it's a more manageable number.

"That's a big improvement from when we had 17 percent out,' says Superintendent Dr. David Gangel.

To keep those numbers down, two school clinics set up for today. The second will take place Monday afternoon for anyone in grades Pre-School to 8th Grade at the Amelia Co. Elementary School. It'll run from 3 until 5 p.m. this afternoon and you must be with your child.

The schools are also changing it's cleaning habits, focusing on just about everything kids touch inside these doors. They also will be cleaning the buses between the morning and afternoon runs.

They are all moves made, to not only protect Stefanie's daughter, but everyone.

"Health first," says Dr. Gangel. 'It was important it was done. But yes, we missed a beat as far as instruction goes. In fact, we'll have a staff meeting this morning as far as discussing where we go from here to put the calendar together again."

It's not too late if you didn't sign a consent form to make sure your child is vaccinated for the swine flu. At Monday afternoon's clinic, you can sign the form there and make sure your child is protected.

(c) 2009. WWBT, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.