More swine flu cases confirmed
May 8, 2009
Health officials say there are at least 31 cases of swine flu confirmed in the Park City area. Most of the people who have contracted the illness are under 18 years old.
"There have been no hospitalizations, and from what we understand, they are all recovering, which is good, we’re happy about that," Summit County Health Department spokeswoman Katie Mullaly said.
Schools reopened this week in Park City after the swine flu scare forced the closure of private schools and eight Park City School District campuses April 30.
The elementary and middle schools reopened Thursday.
McPolin Elementary School student Adam Totora said he wasn’t excited about returning to class.
"I just don’t like school that much," he said.
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Totora said he spent much of his break "watching TV in my room."
McPolin student Nate Harwood said he didn’t find out schools had reopened until Thursday at about 10 a.m.
The schools were closed to disrupt transmission of the swine flu which was first discovered in the Park City area in a student who had traveled in April to Mexico where the H1N1 virus has killed several people.
"I think it’s stupid that we had to come back for a day and a half," McPolin student Maggie Renner said about having to return to school Thursday.
According to McPolin student Hana Gottlieb, "It’s not fair to all the kids who left on vacation, because it goes against their record."
"Why start school on a Thursday when you only have a day and a half?" McPolin student Hannah Mosher said. "A lot of people went out town Tuesday."
"I think it was stupid to let school out to begin with. Swine flu is just like the regular flu," Gottlieb added.
Many students were absent Thursday, McPolin student Christopher Morris said.
"We were all stoked that we had days off and then they opened it," he said.
About half of her class missed school Thursday, said Jackie Brian, a student at McPolin.
"There really is nothing to do, except maybe go bike riding, when the school is closed," Brian said. "It’s actually not that fun, and we would rather be at school."
In an interview Friday, McPolin student Andrea Reynoso Olachea said she was glad to be back at school.
"I heard three kids here had something and they didn’t know if it was the swine flu or not," Reynoso Olachea said.
Park City School Board member Moe Hickey has two children at McPolin Elementary School and said the school closure did not impact his schedule.
"It didn’t affect me," Hickey said.
Meanwhile, Park City High School reopened Wednesday.
"I think closing the schools was overreacting," said Josephine Karz, a student at the high school. "Just put the person who is contaminated with it away from the school."
Many students missed class Wednesday.
"There were a bunch of absences, people were camping in Moab and people were in Hawaii," Park City High School student David Glenn said. "Wednesday was rough. Nobody had started their homework yet and everybody had been sleeping in."
But students aren’t required to make up time they missed because of the swine flu scare, according to Park City School District Superintendent Ray Timothy.
State Superintendent Patti Harrington granted students an exemption for the days they were out.
This year, students in the district attended class for more than the 990 hours required by the state, Timothy said.
But state officials also require students attend 180 days.
"We exceed the minimum number of instructional hours by a huge amount," Timothy said. "We can show that by missing six days, we still far exceed the minimum number of hours required."
The last day of school is June 12 and by then required tests will be complete, he said.
"We are planning on graduation on June 12," Timothy said.