TAMPA — Swine flu has brought widespread absences to a private school that opened Aug. 10.
Officials at Tampa Catholic High School say absences have been running at 15 percent to 20 percent of the school's 700-student enrollment since Monday.
Last week, Hillsborough County health director Dr. Doug Holt said schools might see absence rates of up to 30 percent, once students are back in classes for a few weeks and spread the H1N1 virus around. Public school students returned to classes Tuesday.
Tampa Catholic principal Thomas Reidy said many students with flu-like symptoms have heeded advice from the school and county to stay home until 24 hours after any fever passes. For those who remain, teachers are taking some low-key precautions, he said.
"We have hand sanitizer and Clorox wipes in every classroom," Reidy said. "Our teachers are asked to wipe down desks, lockers, any high traffic areas that students might touch."
Tom Marshall can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (813) 226-3400.