A school in Vernon was shut down after a student tested positive for the H1N1 influenza A virus, commonly referred to as swine flu.

This is the first reported school closure in Canada due to the flu.

B.C. health officials have closed Beairsto Elementary School for one week after a student tested positive.

At a press conference in Victoria yesterday, provincial health officer Dr. Perry Kendall said it’s important to stay calm while remaining cautious.

“The best thing parents and schools can do to protect children is to keep them home from school if they’re sick and to continue taking common sense health precautions to combat the spread of the flu.”

He said additional measures to keep schools clean have been put in place.

“There have been extra janitors added to busier schools and a higher concentration on cleaning doorknobs and taps,” said Kendall.

David Weir, with the Vancouver School Board, said the VSB has prepared a letter to be sent home with students today.

“We take all of our recommendations from Vancouver Coastal Authority and will be passing on their advice to parents,” said Weir.

Anyone feeling ill is advised to call HealthLink B.C. at 8-1-1.