Swine flu scare forces school closures in Park City | ParkRecord.com

Swine flu scare forces school closures in Park City

By Patrick Parkinson Of the Record staff

Park City School District officials ordered all of the district’s eight schools closed early Thursday morning, saying that three students might have contracted the strain of swine flu that has killed people in Mexico.

"Our local health-care providers strongly, strongly suggested that we close our schools because they are pretty confident that this will come back as a positive," Park City School District Superintendent Ray Timothy said Thursday morning. "We have three confirmed cases of what are called probably positives It’s not just your general influenza."

School-related activities are canceled and all school facilities are closed through May 4.

"We know that one of the cases was a family that vacationed in Mexico over spring break," Timothy said. "The second and third students did not go to Mexico. They’ve picked up that influenza from someone else."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expected to analyze test samples and return results Friday and Monday. Timothy did not release the names of the sick children or the schools they attend. At least one of the students is a boy, he said.

"The students who have it, they are doing fine," Timothy said. "They don’t feel well, but they’re doing OK."

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The sick students attend elementary and middle schools in the district, he said.

"They’ve had contact with students at all levels and I don’t think it is a greater risk in any particular area," Timothy said. "The concern is, with this being a new virus coming into the area, that in bringing everybody together, the ability to transfer that to other people and to spread that — local providers are just afraid that it would explode and the numbers would increase dramatically."

District officials made the decision at an emergency meeting Wednesday evening, Timothy said.

"We did not feel like it was prudent to wait two more days for those initial results to come back," Timothy said. "We would rather err on the side of caution, so we chose to close the schools."

The Colby School is closed Thursday and school is canceled at the Winter Sports School in Park City through Friday. The National Ability Center Thursday morning canceled its programs and lessons until next week.