As a result of a possible case of H1N1 flu on the Mille Lacs Reservation, Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe officials Wednesday announced they will close the band's schools south of Onamia on the reservation.
"As a precautionary measure, Nay Ah Shing schools - upper, lower and day care - will close to students on Thursday and Friday while staff disinfects the premises," band officials said in a news release. School staff are asked to report to work as usual. A total of 180 students attend the school.
In a telephone interview late Wednesday afternoon, Patty Dunn, Mille Lacs Band spokeswoman, said band officials will reassess Friday whether to open school again Monday, but said she expected school would reopen Monday.
No other buildings, including the nearby Grand Casino Mille Lacs, will be closed.
"The casinos are not affected nor are any other businesses on the reservation," Jennifer Hellman, also a Mille Lacs Band spokeswoman, said in a telephone interview Wednesday afternoon.
The decision was made Wednesday to close the school, Dunn said. But she declined to comment on when the person became ill and whether the person was a child or an adult.
"We cannot give any more information than that," Dunn said. "Everything we can say is in that statement."
According to the news release, the Ne-Ia-Shing Clinic in District I will only be open for triage consultation. Band members or Nay Ah Shing parents with questions or concerns should call the clinic triage nurse at (320) 532-4163.
KATHI NAGORSKI may be reached at email@example.com or 855-5859.
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