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Respiratory etiquette in the curriculum this year

Respiratory etiquette in the curriculum this year



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SALT LAKE CITY -- Educators will be teaching something new to students this fall. Kids will learn about respiratory etiquette to help prevent the spread of the H1N1 virus.

This etiquette includes coughing into their sleeves instead of their hands and carefully washing their hands for at least 20 seconds, among other things.

Plus, all over the schools in the Granite School District are 20 to 30 posters reminding kids that if they're sick, they should stay home.

District spokesman Ben Horsley said, "We anticipate this virus will be here. We know it will be in our schools. We're just trying to prevent the spread of any illness."

Horsley says no matter how many times they ask parents to keep sick kids at home, these kids keep showing up for class.

Overall, Granite officials will treat the H1N1 virus a little differently than they did in the spring.

"We don't anticipate school closures because the level of the virus is similar to that of the traditional seasonal flu. We're going to treat it like the seasonal flu," Horsley said.

But, teachers will be keeping an eye out for potentially sick children.

"If a kid is demonstrating any sort of symptoms of illness, we're obviously going to take steps to remove that child from the general population," he explained.

Plus, they won't keep track of how many H1N1 cases they get. The state will only count hospitalized cases. This may cause some confusion for parents.

"Parents may hear rumors in the community, and frankly they need to make sure the information is accurate," Horsley said.

He says the Salt Lake Valley Health Department will try to make all Salt Lake County schools a place where kids can get the H1N1 vaccine when it is available.

E-mail: pnelson@ksl.com

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Paul Nelson

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