Graduation ceremonies concern for health officials

Graduation ceremonies concern for health officials (Image 1)
Graduation ceremonies concern for health officials (Image 1)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – While three Davidson County schools have been dismissed due to probable and confirmed cases of the H1N1 flu virus, there are no plans to cancel or postpone any graduation programs.

That, however, could change.

State Commissioner of Health Susan Cooper said during a press briefing Friday that while health officials understand the importance of graduation ceremonies to both graduates and their families, they urge anyone feeling symptoms of the flu to stay at home.

Fisk University students received degrees Monday morning at Temple Baptist Church in north Nashville and several students and family members told News 2 it was an event they would “not miss for anything.”

Health officials are concerned that might be true for some, but graduation attendees told News 2 Monday they were not overly concerned at this point.

“I think if people have a fever and stuff, they'd stay home,” hoped Alice Dobyns Ladd.  “I think with the swine flu, they'd stay home.”

Vivian Miller attended Monday's ceremony to see her niece receive her degree.

“Hopefully they took precautions and I hope they are aware that their infection would infect others,” she told News 2.

Patrick Lewis, whose friend graduated Fisk with a Master's degree, said he didn't notice anyone in the large crowd coughing or sneezing.

“I would not be here if I was sick,” he said.  “I would not want to infect others.”

Graduation season is now in full gear with more than 1,000 ceremonies and programs for kindergarten, elementary, middle school, high school and other colleges and universities.

Health officials say if you exhibit any flu like symptoms to stay home, no matter how important graduation ceremonies might be to your family.

Related Stories:

blog comments powered by Disqus