Sunday, April 26, 2009

Local Swine Flu Brief

About half an hour ago, 1300 Sunday, the Department of Health and Human Services declared a Public Health Emergency in the U.S. and the Centers for Disease Control have recommended that schools think about closures. (Don't have a link for that yet.)

Maine is uniquely situated in that most of our students have been out of school for the last 10 days and are set to reconvene tomorrow. Many of these kids and/or family members have been out of state some returning within hours of coming back to school.

If Mainers were prudent, we would declare an additional three or four days off to shake out the incubation period and reduce the potential disease vectors.

When I checked with Lincoln County Emergency Management Director Tim Pellerin, whose cell phone number is on his voice mail, he had not heard anything from DHS or other emergency organizations. Knox County Director Ray Sisk apparently takes weekends off. Emergencies never happen on the weekend you know.

Update: Ray Sisk returned my call this afternoon around 4 p.m. and sounded thorougly organized. He is staying in contact with the State Epidemiologist Dora Mills, describing her as "a practical person," and seemed to have all the latest information. He said he had just gotten off the phone with the Five Town (Camden-Rockport) Superintendent Pat Hopkins and that he was available for anyone needing information.

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