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SALT LAKE CITY -- Utah schools closed because of the swine flu are reopening. Class will be in session for several schools Wednesday, with the remaining schools opening Thursday.
Local health departments gave the all-clear Monday afternoon. Now, Park City High School will reopen Wednesday, and all other schools in that district will reopen Thursday.
Judge Memorial High School and Our Lady of Lourdes Elementary will also reopen Wednesday, as will Redwood Elementary.
It's great news for student athletes, because it means they can participate in state playoff games that started Tuesday and were put in limbo by the swine flu.
"I guess sometimes prayers are answered," said Dave Wilkey, executive director of the Utah High School Activities Association.
Park City High School athletes take to the field
On the field Tuesday night, the Park City Miners took on the Carbon High Dinos. At the soccer game, the city's entire handling of the swine flu scare was debated in the stands.
"I think they overreacted," said Park City High junior Alex Mooinaro.But sophomore Blake Lukandwski said, "I think they handled it right, just to be safe."
But the city's mayor says they were merely responding to changing Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines. Looking back, he says there are few changes he would make.
"Was it a rush to judgment? I don't think that's fair to say, because if people had gotten sick and we hadn't closed the schools, we would have heard the exact opposite than what we did," Mayor Dana Williams said.
UHSAA would have allowed play even without schools reopening
The health departments' all-clear came just moments after the Utah High School Athletic Association said it would not postpone any games or tournaments because of school closures, saying doing so would adversely affect student athletes at other schools.
"The issue has always been for the local districts to decide if they're going to allow their teams to participate. It was not our decision. The fact that they are able to participate is certainly what we had hoped could happen, with a clean bill of health," said Bart Thompson, assistant director of the UHSAA.
Schedule for reopening of schools
- Park City High School -- Wednesday, May 6
- All other Park City schools -- Thursday, May 7
- Judge Memorial Catholic High School -- Wednesday, May 6
- Our Lady of Lourdes Elementary School -- Wednesday, May 6
- Redwood Elementary School -- Wednesday, May 6