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Flu Closes 6th Mass. School

This article is more than 10 years old.

Six Boston-area public and private schools have announced they are closing for a week after unusually high levels of influenza-like illness.

Woodland Elementary School in suburban Weston is the latest school to announce it will close for a week.

The Umana Middle School will close starting Thursday, and will not reopen until May 28.

During that time period, the Harborside Community Center, adjacent to the school, will also be closed to the public, city officials say.

Officials say they hope that the temporary closure will prevent new infections and avoid unnecessary illness.
The Boston Public Health Commission’s Dr. Anita Barry says only two cases at the two schools in Boston are confirmed as the H1N1 swine flu virus.

“When you have a large number of people ill, you really don’t need to have a lab confirmation in every one to know what’s going,” she said.

The city's largest school, Boston Latin, was closed for a week Tuesday. Three private schools, the Winsor in Boston, Dana Hall in Wellesley and The Fessenden in Newton are also closed.

State education officials say they’ll be flexible on the mandatory 180-day school year rule, because of the flu outbreak. The state will also work with schools that have to make up the MCAS student achievement test.

This program aired on May 20, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.

Deborah Becker Twitter Host/Reporter
Deborah Becker is a senior correspondent and host at WBUR. Her reporting focuses on mental health, criminal justice and education.

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