On Monday, Oct. 26, Middletown health and school officials decided to close Keigwin Middle School for the remainder of the week due to the high number of students exhibiting influenza-like symptoms. According to Middletown School Superintendent Michael J. Frechette, 40 percent of students were absent on Monday due to illness.

City of Middletown Health Director Joseph Havlicek decided that the high rate of absences justified closing the school in order to mitigate the risk of spreading the H1N1 virus between students.

Saint John School, a private K-8 Catholic school also located in Middletown, closed this week from Wednesday to Friday.

On Tuesday, nearby Burlington-Harwinton School District reported that 28 percent of students were exhibiting flu-like symptoms, prompting Superintendent Alan Beitman to close all schools in the district.

Last spring, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advised schools with excessive absences to close in order to prevent the spread of the illness. This season, however, the CDC has been encouraging districts to try to keep schools open, instead urging parents to keep children who are exhibiting symptoms at home.

The Connecticut schools are among 114 closed in 12 states nationwide this week as the second wave of the H1N1 pandemic spreads throughout the nation.

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