Governor Pawlenty, Health Commissioner Dr. Sanne Magnan, and ROCORI School Superintendent Scott Staska, held a press conference today to discuss the next steps to be taken now the the H1N1 influenza virus has been confirmed. The ROCORI Middle School will be closed for 7 days beginning Wednesday, April 29th. This closure began yesterday, Wednesday and will continue through next Tuesday.
Today Minnesota became the 12th state in the nation with a confirmed case of
swine flu.Ten other cases in this region of the state are still being evaluated for possible confirmation.
Stay tuned later today for DigElog ROCORI coverage direct from the press conference.
I just wanted to provide a quick update to you. At 9:00 this morning, the Minnesota Department of Health released information that the H1N1 influenza virus has been confirmed. The information that we have been given is that the issue is still confined to the Middle School setting and that the conditions under which we have been operating are still valid.
There is not cause for panic or alarm; the situation has not changed a great deal. Everything that we know is that the isolation to the Middle School setting is still true and that, according to the information, contact has been very minimal. At the state level, the Department of Health officials have been working in "concentric circles" of influence to connect with those who are most likely to have had contact. As long as the Department of Health has not made contact, there is not any elevated reason for concern.
We do want to encourage cooperation with state and county health officials as they move forward. If you do receive contact from the county or state health offices, we would encourage you to cooperate with the officials.
At this point, we do not have specific plans for school. We will be learning that information as we go through the day. The best information we have is that the situation will not be much different than what we have already been doing.
We will continue to keep you informed as we learn information. Thank you for your patience and assistance!
MEDIA PREPARE FOR TODAY'S PRESS CONFERENCE WITH THE GOVERNOR
Testing by the U.S. Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention (CDC) has confirmed that the illness of a
Minnesota resident was caused by the H1N1 novel influenza virus.
A lab specimen was submitted to CDC for testing after preliminary tests
by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) identified the patient’s
illness as a “probable” infection with the new influenza strain.
Additional testing by CDC was needed to determine if the patient had the unusual new strain of influenza.
The person who became ill with the unusual virus has ties to Rocori
Middle School in Cold Spring. Both the middle school and St. Boniface
Elementary, which shares some facilities with the middle school, have
been closed since the illness was identified by MDH as probable H1N1
flu on Tuesday night.
According to information currently available on the CDC Web site, 91
laboratory confirmed cases of the illness have occurred to date in the
U.S., in addition to the case just confirmed in Minnesota. There has
been one death in the U.S. from the new flu strain.
As public health agencies across the nation continue to focus their
efforts on containing the new virus, MDH officials are reminding people
that we all have a role to play in limiting the spread of illnesses
like H1N1 flu. They are reminding people that you can protect yourself
from influenza and other respiratory diseases by staying home if you’re
sick, covering your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze, washing
your hands thoroughly and frequently, and limiting your contact with
people who you think might be sick.
Watching your own health can also protect you. If you have traveled
within the past week to Mexico or other areas where H1N1 novel
influenza is circulating, and you develop fever along with other flu
symptoms, call your health care provider. Tell them about your symptoms
and travel history. For more information on novel influenza please
visit the MDH Web site at www.health.state.mn.us or contact your health care provider.
Members of the public with questions about the current international
outbreak of H1N1 influenza can call the MDH hotline between 8:00 a.m.
and 4:30 p.m. at 1-800-657-3903. Stearns County has also opened a
hotline for local residents. The number is 320-650-5802 and it is
answered from, 6 a.m. – 8 p.m.
STAY TUNED TO DIGELOG ROCORI FOR GOVERNOR'S PRESS CONFERENCE LATER THIS MORNING
Governor's press conference will be held later this morning in Cold Spring.
DISTRIBUTED FROM SCOTT STASKA, ROCORI SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT Wednesday Evening
After consultation with the Minnesota Department of Health and the Governor's office, we have learned that the results of the sample testing have not returned from the Centers for Disease Control. At this time, they are not expected back until either very late tonight or still sometime tomorrow.
Because of the delay in hearing information, we are going to continue to operate with the precautionary direction we took today. Classes at the ROCORI Middle School site will not be conducted tomorrow, April 30, 2009. We will have classes at ROCORI High School, Cold Spring Elementary School, Richmond Elementary School and John Clark Elementary School, but we will NOT conduct classes at the Middle School.
In conversation with Sister Sharon at St. Boniface, the logistical questions involved in our shared programs (lunch, physical education and music) have also encouraged the closing of the St. Boniface site for Thursday, April 30.
We really do not have any additional information to report because the testing process at the CDC has not been completed. All of the information provided by the Minnesota Department of Health indicates that our focus and concern is still contained to the Middle School and that, as a district, we are able to continue to operate our other sites. We still have not had anything identified more than AN INDIVIDUAL from the Middle School site and that, based on their information, the issue should be contained to the Middle School setting.
I know that the entire issue is frustrating and disconcerting. If there were any ability to provide more specific or detailed information, it would help all of us. Unfortunately, in working with a situation like this, it is my understanding that the Department does not, and cannot, provide the level of detailed information about someone involved in a disease investigation. Our best steps are to continue to be proactive, to exercise preventive efforts, and to continue the path we have started.
When we receive any additional information, we are committed to sharing that with you. At this time, however, we operate with the Middle School (and St. Boniface, as outlined) closed on April 30, 2009.
Thank you for your understanding and patience as we journey together with the state of Minnesota on this path.
Scott R. Staska
TWIN CITIES MEDIA COVERING THE SCHOOL CLOSING
MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH NEWS RELEASE LATE LAST NIGHT
No results from CDC yet on probable H1N1 novel influenza case in Minnesota Rocori Middle School and St. Boniface Elementary School will remain closed
As of 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 29, the
Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has not been notified by the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about the final test results
on the probable case of H1N1 novel influenza in an individual connected
with Rocori Middle School in Cold Spring, Minn. Testing by CDC is
needed to confirm if the individual had the unusual new strain of
influenza that has made people sick in Mexico and eight other
countries, including 10 states in the U.S.
Commissioner of Health Dr. Sanne Magnan conferred with Rocori School
District Superintendent Scott Staska and St. Boniface Principal Sister
Sharon Waldoch late today. Out of an abundance of caution, they agreed
to keep both schools closed until the test results from the CDC are
The Minnesota Department of Health also announced today that it has
established an H1N1 novel influenza hotline for the general public.
Phones will be answered from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 1-800-657-3903.
The lab specimen was submitted to the CDC early this morning to be
tested for the H1N1 novel influenza virus, also referred to as swine
flu. The individual is expected to make a full recovery and did not
MDH is characterizing the case as “probable” – meaning that the MDH lab
has confirmed the virus as type A influenza, but the strain cannot be
identified using lab tests available to MDH.
The individual was linked with Rocori Middle School in Cold Spring,
which shares some facilities with St. Boniface Elementary. Although any
risk to students or staff is regarded as low, the two schools were
closed voluntarily by local officials after consulting with state
At least 91 laboratory confirmed cases of the illness have now been
reported in the U.S., most of them in New York, California and Texas.
The disease is responsible for the death of a toddler in Texas.
MDH officials are reminding people that they have a role in controlling
the spread of infections like influenza. Stay home if you’re sick,
cover your cough, wash your hands frequently and limit your contact
with people who you think might be sick.
If you have traveled within the past week to Mexico or other areas
where H1N1 novel influenza is circulating, and you develop fever along
with other flu symptoms, call your health care provider. Tell them
about your symptoms and travel history.
For more information on novel influenza please visit the MDH Web site at www.health.state.mn.us or contact your healthcare provider.
It seems like everybody these days is concerned with Green Energy. By now, many folks already know that Green Energy is just a fancy way of saying environmentally friendly energy. DigElog ROCORI is proud to bring you coverage from a presentation given by David A. Winkelman, a project manager for Winklemans Environmentally Responsible Construction. Mr. Winkleman has over 30 years of experience in construction, conservation based education and marketing, targeted to national audiences of consumers.
In part two of this story, Winkleman continues to discuss his proposal for building an environmentally energy solutions distribution facility in Cold Spring. At the end of his presentation, members of the public weigh in with their concerns. DigElog ROCORI will continue to keep you up to date on this story as we learn more about the project.
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In this video, Dr. Joe Bresee with the CDC Influenza Division describes swine flu - its signs and symptoms, how it's transmitted, medicines to treat it, steps people can take to protect themselves from it, and what people should do if they become ill.