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John Hollenhorst ReportingClasses will resume tomorrow in Malad, Idaho following a five day shutdown because of a flu scare. But officials are warning parents not to return their kids to school if they're sick.
Malad schools will be in session a half-day tomorrow as the community tries to assess whether the worst of their flu season is over. And they're hoping not to repeat the problem they fell into last week when there were too many kids sick in the classroom.
Cleaning crews have been giving classrooms the once-over. They're spraying with disinfectants on desks and doorknobs, phones and computers.
Last week, officials say roughly a third of the 860 students were sick, many of them vomiting on school buses and elsewhere.
Mary Bischoff, Oneida School District: "Well, the goal is to disinfect everything their hands will touch."
Wendy Alder, Middle School Teacher: "Kids were coughing a lot in school. I teach computers so, you know, they're coughing, they're covering their mouth, touching the keyboard, they're touching their mouth."
Actually, experts say the flu virus only lasts for a few hours on open-air surfaces. So the cleaning may not do much good, but school officials say it can't do any harm. They're trying to be extra cautious and to reassure parents it's OK to send kids back to school, but only if they're healthy.
Lynn Schow, Superintendent of Schools: "We've put out the word. That if any students come to school ill, we're going to send them home."
Is the worst over? One of Malad's doctors thinks it is, and may have peaked last week. But another doctor says he's not so sure. New cases today were down a bit, but over the weekend kids kept coming into the emergency room. And yesterday, he says, "was just horrible".