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Burnaby closes Marlborough Elementary because of swine flu

VANCOUVER - Burnaby School District has closed Marlborough Elementary after a fifth case of H1N1 swine flu was confirmed there.

According to the district's website, Dr. Larry Gustafson, Medical Health Officer for Fraser Health Authority, confirmed the case, and that the student had attended the school while still infectious.

This new case meets all the criteria established by the Ministry of Education that determines whether to temporarily close a school. As a precautionary measure to minimize the spread of infection of H1N1, the district has closed Marlborough Elementary School for instruction from June 17 to June 23. The school will reopen on Wednesday, June 24.

Under most school districts' collective agreements, closures like this one are treated like "snow days," with teachers and staff being paid even though they may not be expected to come to work.

A story in Burnaby Now on June 13 has details about the case and the response of school and medical authorities.

According to the June 15 update by the B.C. Ministry of Health Services, 172 persons in the province have been confirmed as having H1N1.

Crawford Kilian is a contributing editor of The Tyee.

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