The Park Record editorial, May 2, 2009 | ParkRecord.com

The Park Record editorial, May 2, 2009

Measured response to illness is what the doctor ordered

Amid a stunning week, made trying by word that six people from Summit County might have contracted the swine flu, the leadership displayed by City Hall, county officials and the Park City School District was appropriately deliberate.

That should not be construed as a blanket endorsement of the local leaders as they press forward, of course, but the performance, starting midweek, should give Parkites some assurances that they live in a place that is fit to handle a crisis.

The crucial decision was made swiftly by the school district to cancel classes in an effort to stop the illness from spreading between students. Among the early cases of possible swine flu was a student who had recently traveled to Mexico for spring break.

School district officials had to weigh canceling classes and other events, thus extending the school year slightly, against the possibility of an outbreak. As of Friday afternoon, as state health officials indicated there are a few additional suspected cases of swine flu in Summit County, the decision appears to have been the proper one.

Had classes not been called off, it’s likely many parents would have kept their kids home anyway. The parents, we figure, would have decided that missing a few days toward the end of the school year would be a better choice than keeping them in class and possibly exposing them to the illness.

Meanwhile, City Hall and Summit County mobilized quickly, with officials who are rarely faced with international-level emergency situations appearing calm. The amount of information released was adequate, and we understand that some of what has been withheld is protected through privacy laws. The communication must continue.

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People should continue to be vigilant with their health in the coming days, as more is learned about the local threat the sickness poses. Many things that can be done to lessen the risk are obvious washing your hands and covering your nose when you sneeze, as examples. They sound so basic, but they are steps that are needed right now as the area tries to contain the swine flu.