Cold Spring residents nervous about first probable Minn. flu caseby Ambar Espinoza, Minnesota Public Radio
In Cold Spring, area residents are nervous about the first probable swine flu case, however they're not in panic mode.
Cold Spring, Minn. — In this small town of nearly 4,000 people, baker Linda Gronewold said it's a typical day at the Cold Spring Bakery.
With one exception; everyone is talking about swine flu.
Gronewold said she first heard the news about the patient on the radio on her way to work. She was relieved to hear the school district closed Rocori middle school for the day because her sister works there.
"I'm certainly hoping it's not what they think," Gronewold said. "I'm glad that they made the decision to do that just in case it is. My feeling right now, and I do realize it's a different strain of flu than we deal with here, but I'm not too concerned at this moment."
Gronewold said this case dominates the conversation among her and her co-workers because a few of them have young children.
At the boutique right next to the bakery, owner Michele Tebrake has a son who's in seventh grade at Rocori Middle School. She's taking this opportunity to remind her kids to use common sense about washing their hands often and covering their mouths when they cough. Tebrake said her shoppers haven't expressed any degree of panic yet.
"Most people are just concerned," Tebrake said. "[I'm] glad that they took the precautions to close the school and glad that they are doing whatever they need to do so that we can be sure that our kids are going to be safe and I know that they will do a good job of that."
One of Tebrake's customers is in Cold Spring on a bus tour. Jackie Jensen of Sartell, about 20 miles away, said she's a little more nervous about the swine flu than she was a few days ago because this case is close to home.
"I don't like hearing about this. I got a lot of grandkids and I don't want any of them to get sick," Jensen said. "I'd rather it be me than them."
Rocori school district officials say the middle school will be closed for up to seven days depending on advice from state health officials.
- All Things Considered, 04/29/2009, 5:25 p.m.