The number of people with Swine flu continues to grow in Illinois, but public health officials say schools no longer have to close. Illinois now confirms 225 cases of the flu. Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Damon Arnold says labs are now performing confirmatory tests, which is why the state has seen a large increase in the number of confirmed cases over the past couple days. He says the increase is not a rapid spread of the virus. Along with the new numbers, the state is telling local schools to think before closing their doors. Arnold is warning against "unnecessary school closures." The Illinois State Board of Education says the decision is still up to local school officials, but is providing new guideline for how to handle the Swine flu. ISBE officials say schools should stay open unless theres a "magnitude of faculty or student absenteeism" that interferes with the schools ability to function. They also say sick kids and teachers should just stay home til theyre better. And every school needs to focus on preventing the spread of the flu. Most schools in Illinois only have a few weeks of classes left, closing now could postpone things like graduation and other scheduled end of the year activities. (Copyright 2009 by Newsroom Solutions)
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