Lawmakers consider emergency plan in case of swine flu outbreak

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SALT LAKE CITY -- Utah lawmakers are working on an emergency plan in case a worst-case scenario outbreak of swine flu keeps them from meeting in person during the next legislative session.

The state's director of the Office of Legislative Research, Michael Christensen, tells the Salt Lake Tribune if a flu outbreak was serious enough, legislators could opt for holding electronic meetings using the Utah Education Network, which connects public junior high and high schools.

They also could cast votes with their Blackberry phones instead of meeting at the Capitol.

If a flu outbreak was severe, the legislature potentially could temporarily move outside Salt Lake County.

Health officials say in order to help prevent spreading the virus, lawmakers also could adopt an elbow bump instead of a handshake, as is used at Indiana's state government.

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