The Obama administration is finalizing guidelines that would scale back when the federal government recommends closing schools in response to the swine flu pandemic, several people involved in the deliberations said Monday.

More targeted guidance would mark a change in the government's approach from this spring, when health officials suggested that schools shut down at the first sign of the H1N1 virus. They later relaxed that advice.

This fall, federal authorities would recommend closures only under "extenuating circumstances," such as if a campus has many children with underlying medical conditions, a senior U.S. health official involved in the talks said. The official added that discussions are continuing and that no decision has been made.

Schools also might be advised to close if many students or staff members are already sick or otherwise absent, officials said. From: The Washington Post --Ghatpande 05:31, 4 August 2009 (UTC)

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