Friday, November 13, 2009

What Is The Real Impact of H1N1 In GCSD?

In the last couple of weeks, several comments posted here (like the one below) suggest the Greece School District is downplaying the number of students ill with swine flu. I've checked the GCSD website for updates, but the information is the same as was posted earlier in the fall. No update was discussed at the BOE meeting on Tuesday.

This week, media reported that the number of local cases was much higher than it had been and one local health dept. reversed their stance about pre-existing medical conditions regarding the deaths of two related swine flu victims ... in other words they were caught in a lie. On top of that, media also reported that total fatalities reached approximately 4000 across the U.S.which was much higher than expected or previously noted.

Why isn't GCSD speaking up about the impact of swine flu on absenteeism among both students and staff?

Anonymous said...

"They jerk people around using the "PC" information in place of reality then expect to get support"

Good point! On that same topic, I spent awhile speaking with a Greece school bus driver today. I asked him about the number of kids missing from his routes (sick). He said he's never seen anything like it before, and is actually running into problems with parents of young kids not being at bus stops...because the bus is getting there 5-10 minutes early (ie. not nearly as many kids getting on/off the bus). He claimed that all of the other drivers are speaking about the same issue. I told him the district claimed attendance is basically unchanged from last year, to which he responded, "This district is full of s#$@".    11/13/2009 9:58 PM


Captain Obvious said...

"The truth? You can't handle the truth."

This is a statement that all levels of government has had to wrestle with for a very long time. What information to release and what information to not release.

There is very little meaningful reason to release such information in this case as it has a v-e-r-y large potential to fan the flames of irrational behavior in a majority of the population who has become unreasonably germ phobic (the people that we all used to make fun of 20 years ago).

SCATS said...

To Capt ~~ I completely disagree with you given that we live in the "Information Age." If they don't tell people what the overall picture is, the people are going to find out anyway and will then distrust even further, the govt who "leads" them. One way that this happens now is through the comments people leave on media sites under the story reported. Very often you can learn names and other information ~~ one example was the school who wouldn't release the cause of death of one teen. People immediately worried it was flu-related but quickly learned it was a suicide from comments left on one of those sites. Sometimes even this BLOG gets the word out ;)

SCATS said...

BLOG Administration rejected publishing one comment for name-calling.

FYI, under HIPPA names can't be released. However, HIPPA does NOT prohibit releasing cause of death. In fact, cause of death and related information MUST be reported on a death certificate and those certificates ARE available under FOIL.

Anonymous said...

My concern is that they have found that you can still be contagious for 7-10 days following symptoms, yet Greece is still advising only keeping kids home 24 hours past symptoms. Is attendence tied to State aid or something?

SCATS said...

To 7:35PM ~~ Yes, State Aid is tied to attendence. However, I believe the district does get their aid for children who miss school due to an "excused absence" which illness is. Regarding the 24 hrs remark - I think the so called "experts" have changed this about 4 times now. The last I heard, it was recommended that children stay home for 24 hrs. AFTER the fever disappears. Can you imagine the fuss teachers would make if they had to parcel out homework, classwork, etc for a full week extra with dozens of kids? They'd have a fit about the inconvenience.

By the way, I talked to a friend today who has a relative that teaches in Greece and I am told the absence rate is much higher than we've been told, at least in that particular school.

Captain Obvious said...

Releasing "the real impact of H1N1 in Greece" is a waste of taxpayer money and staff efforts. Why?

Unless someone has been in a coma, they already know the real impact.

Here's what "they" have said about the state of the flu, nationally:

Here's "their" guidance as to how to deal with people in your home:

Here's their guidance for how long to keep symptomatic individuals away from others:

The fact is that Greece Central School students are an unquarantined subset of the referenced US population and they should expect to be affected as stated.

Providing daily, weekly, etc. updates is an irrational waste of taxpayer. If they were to take (waste) the time counting and reporting, the community would probably distrust those numbers as they have most others coming from Greece administration.

So maybe the solution is to have the administration of the Greece Central School district have daily press releases that say, "The affects of the flu are still being observed in the district" and point people to the CDC's website?

I seem to remember a popular TV show with a news-farce stating "Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead." Let's not force the district to waste even more money.

I'm certain that is not what we really want to happen.

Keep up the good work, Scats.

SCATS said...

To Capt. ~~ Re: "If they were to take (waste) the time counting and reporting ..."

They already count and report the number of absences in each building. They have to do this to get their State Aid anyways. We even pay people to handle those figures within buildings ... "attendence secretaries."

Anonymous said...

They probably don't want us to get hysterical flu which is a cold that someone thinks is the swine flu because they know someone that also had the hysterical flu. Not to say that there aren't many who have the swine and other flu but what we don't know won't make us psychotic.
Keep the kids home if they show signs of being sick. Teachers and staff stay home if you are sick. Please. Even if it isn't the flu we don't need you to share your germs. Sleeve coughs notwithstanding. And while I'm at it stay out of the grocery stores and library and the banks the rest of you if you are sick.

Anonymous said...

SCATS - Please get the acronym correct. It's HIPAA - just a pet peeve of mine. EVERYONE does HIPPA and that is not correct. It stands for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. Thank you!

SCATS said...

To 10:36AM ~~ My tendency is to call it HIPPO ... which would be appropriate for nearly everything big govt. does! But TY for the lesson. I think this may be the first time I ever had to write about it :/

Anonymous said...

I agree!! Thanks for acknowledging the correction. Hopefully, you won't have to write about it very often. :)

Captain Obvious said...

There is a difference between the number of raw absences and "The Impact of H1N1".

Reporting the former is easy as it requires only simple attendance to be taken.

The latter is much more difficult, time consuming and expensive because someone would need to determine exactly how many of those raw absences were related to a documented case of H1N1. Given the distrust of the schools administration, even such numbers would be thought to be suspect.

Since the CDC's has reported that H1N1 has fully presented itself across the nation, Greece residents should realize that it is probable that they've been touched and not force the district to spend money simply acknowledging what the CDC has already said.

SCATS said...

Capt ~~ The issue is that GCSD claims the absence rates are "normal" but parents, employees and even students are saying there are much larger numbers of kids kept home each day. GCSD needs to wake up to the fact that the "trust us" mentality was abandoned by parents over a decade ago.