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COVID-19 cases low across Utah County schools

By Ashtyn Asay - | Jan 8, 2022

Emily Anderson, Special to the Daily Herald

Two students at Northridge High School in Layton receive instructions from workers after receiving their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine during a clinic held at the school on Tuesday, April 20, 2021.

With changes in COVID-19 guidelines, and record-breaking COVID-19 case numbers statewide, what could this mean for Utah County schools?

All public schools in Utah County are currently open with no indication of closing anytime soon. However, if COVID-19 cases continue to rise in schools, students could soon be required by state law to get tested.

SB107, passed during the Utah Legislature’s 2021 General Session, requires a “Test to Stay” event if any school reaches more than 30 active cases of COVID-19, or if more than 2% of a school’s enrollment tests positive, provided it has more than 1,500 students. During a Test to Stay event, all students who attended school in the last 14 days are offered COVID-19 testing, and those who decline testing or test positive are required to stay home.

Nebo School District reported 79 active cases as of Friday evening. With a total student and staff population of 38,500, these active cases account for 2.02% of the district population. Springville High School currently has the most active COVID-19 cases with 9-12.

“Yes, our numbers have been low. However, we realize that those numbers can go up at any time. We are working closely with the Utah County Health Department. Nebo is following the state guidelines,” said Lana Hiskey, community relations specialist for Nebo School District. “If Nebo has over 30 cases in one school, then we will implement the Test to Stay per the state guidelines. We are grateful to our parents, students, and staff and how diligent they have been in trying to keep students safe and in school.”

Alpine School District reported 271 active cases on Friday. With Utah County’s largest student population of 83,796, these active cases account for 0.0032% of the district population. Pleasant Grove, Orem and Cedar Valley high schools currently have the most active COVID-19 cases with 13 each.

According to David Stephenson, the executive director of external relations and communications for ASD, the district is also following the current COVID-19 guidelines put in place by the Utah County Health Department, and they will adhere to any anticipated guideline updates.

Provo School District has a reported 40 active cases on Friday. With a total student population of 13,956, these active cases account for 0.28% of the district population. Provo and Timpview High Schools currently each have 10-19 active COVID-19 cases, the most in the district.

“We will continue to work with our local health officials to monitor COVID-19 case counts in Provo City District,” reads the Provo City School District website. “If conditions change, we might be directed to adjust along the way. We ask all families and employees of Provo City School District to continue to do their part to manage the impact of the pandemic on schools and learning.”

Currently, high schools in all three Utah County school districts have the most active cases of COVID-19.

“If someone is at school with respiratory symptoms, they will be asked to return home. If a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19, they will be asked to isolate at home for 10 days,” reads the UCHD website. “The School District(s) along with Utah County Health Department, strongly encourage the use of masks for all students and staff while indoors.”

Although recommended, Utah schools cannot legally require students to wear face coverings of any kind, however, they are available at every school across the state.

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