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Manatee officials: Prepare for possible school closings because of flu

MANATEE - The Manatee County Public School District this afternoon advised parents to prepare for possible school closings due to the swine flu outbreak.

"No confirmed cases of the swine flu have been identified in Manatee County to date, and district schools continue to operate as usual. However, the number of probable cases in Florida is rising and includes a probable case in nearby Hillsborough County which resulted in the closing of three Hillsborough County schools," the Manatee district said in a news release this afternoon.

"In light of those developments, Manatee school district officials, working in close cooperation with the Manatee County Health Department, advise parents to begin planning now for the possibility their child’s school could close if a probable case is identified in Manatee County. The purpose of closing schools is to decrease contact among children to reduce their risk of getting sick and to limit the spread of the influenza. The length of school closings could range from a few days to a couple of weeks, so parents should begin to arrange day-care plans for students should their school be closed."

"Please note that until an official decision to close a school is made, normal absentee procedures remain in place for all district schools."

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