In a departure from previous guidance on the issue, the U.S. government on Aug. 7 said schools should close this fall only if large numbers of students have swine flu, and schools could allow their sick students to return 24 hours after a fever is gone.

The decision whether to close always rests with local school officials, but educators have been looking to the federal government for advice about the new flu strain that has caused a global epidemic.

The advice on sick kids returning is a change from previous recommendations that people with swine flu should stay home for at least a week.


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