No swine flu suspected at other area schools
May 1, 2009
Kids in Park City were enjoying a five-day weekend as schools remained closed Friday while officials awaited the results of testing for swine flu in three students.
But classes were in session in outlying school districts.
"We’re very concerned and our parents are very concerned," North Summit School District Superintendent Steve Carlsen said in a telephone interview Friday.
But no decision had been made to close schools in Coalville due to the possible swine flu cases in western Summit County, he said.
Still, that could change if test results show a child in Park City is infected with the newly discovered strain of influenza, he explained.
"It would be a factor since we have such a close association," Carlsen said. "A lot of our students work over there in the outlets and at Smith’s My own son is over there rubbing shoulders with the Park City people."
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Because people might pass the virus on to others, teachers are encouraging kids to wash their hands before they eat and after using the bathroom, he said.
"We’re going to watch it very closely," Carlsen said. "It’s definitely a concern, but so far we are surviving it."
The flu strain that has sickened at least five Utahns is perhaps the same type of swine flu that killed people in Mexico this week.
Three local students suspected of having contracted the disease attend middle and elementary schools, Park City School District Superintendent Ray Timothy said.
Meanwhile, Kamas schools were in session on Friday.
"Contrary to some rumors, we do not have any suspected cases of swine flu," according to a statement on the South Summit School District Web site. "We will continue to counsel our students to use the same preventive measures we have always taught about containing infectious diseases."
Classrooms in Heber were also full Friday morning.
"We’re watching the situation, but our health department has counseled us to stay in school," said Jill Cottam, an assistant to Wasatch County School District Superintendent Terry Shoemaker.
Students who are sick are advised to stay home and avoid social gatherings.