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Rec Center takes additional prevention, sanitation steps due to flu-like illness among youth participants and staff

By Staff | Aug 10, 2009

On Friday, approximately 25 percent of the enrollees in the City of Sanibel Recreation Center’s summer youth program as well as three staff members were absent due to flu like symptoms.

Of the three ill staff members, one tested positive for bronchitis, one tested positive for flu, without a specific strain identified, and for one test results are pending.

Since July, the City of Sanibel has been adhering to the Lee County and Florida Department of Health Guidelines to prevent the flu for Summer Camps and Summer Daycare Programs.

Sanibel City Manager Judie Zimomra stated, “The health and safety of our residents is our highest priority. Based upon today’s experience, the City of Sanibel is activating a heightened level of prevention and sanitation as outlined in our Novel Influenza A (H1N1) response plan. Therefore, any Recreation Center program attendees or staff demonstrating flu like symptoms will be required to refrain from being in the facility until their flu like symptoms are over.”

Any child who becomes ill while in the program will be isolated from all other children until the family or guardian arrives for pick up. Staff members who become sick during the course of the day will also be required to not return to the workplace without medical documentation and clearance.

Zimomra also stated that she has been and will remain in communication with the Lee County Health Department’s Director of Public Health, Dr. Judith Hartner.

Additionally, the City had the entire Recreation Center – including all surfaces and equipment touched by participants and staff – sanitized by the City’s contractual cleaning company under the personal supervision of the Director of Recreation Chris Deal. Rec Center Director Chris Deal and his staff directly notified every parent of youth enrolled in the Summer Recreation program of the status of the situation. The City is also increasing the availability of hand sanitizer throughout the facility.

“We urge all residents of Sanibel to take all steps recommend by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Florida Department of Health and the local Lee County Health Department, to remain illness free,” Zimomra added.

Information from each of these entities is available from the following Web sites:

Lee County Health Department – http://www3.leegov.com/healthdept/

Florida Department of Health – http://www.doh.state.fl.us/DEMO/php/FluInfo.htm

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/

Source: City of Sanibel