Pleasant Grove High School is closed through Thursday for a deep sanitizing following a clustered outbreak of COVID-19 at the school.

Students will return to school in a hybrid split-shift style where half the school attends for two days and then the other half for two. This will continue for two to three weeks and then there will be an evaluation of the issue, according to Kimberly Bird, district spokesperson.

Last week, the Alpine School District reported 19 cases throughout 12 schools in the district. This week there are 67 active cases, 41 are students and 26 are employees.

Alpine School District, which has 91 schools and six general district office facilities, serves 14 communities with a total of 81,493 students. Of that total, 76,000 are attending face-to-face school.

“We are coordinating efforts between Pleasant Grove City, the Utah County Health Department, and Pleasant Grove High School,” according to a district press release. “Pleasant Grove High School will be moving their instructional model to a modified schedule beginning Thursday, September 3rd.”

The Alpine School District administration and school principals have prepared for such outbreaks long before school started, Bird said. Other districts have called to find out their methods.

“We like our plan,” Bird said. “It allows for flexibility.”

According to Bird, there have not been more than two students in a class that have COVID-19. When it gets to more than three students, the kid-to-kid concerns come. At some point, if health department and school rules are followed, Bird believes they will have to go to something less flexible and more defined.

Pleasant Grove city also is supporting the district in its policies and procedures, according to Scott Darrington, city administrator.

“Our city council hasn’t had a discussion on masks in a council meeting,” Darrington said. “We defer to the county and state health departments. Our mayor and city council would like schools to stay open.”

All UHSAA events will take place as currently scheduled. PGHS will continue to re-enforce and mandate the wearing of face masks, social distancing and limiting spectator participation.

“Although part of Alpine’s Return to Learn plans are to track and tabulate numbers at individual schools, we cannot control what happens outside of the school day, in the community, and in homes,” the press release said. “Our united efforts are to help the Pleasant Grove area stop the transmission of COVID-19. It will take all of us working together to social distance whenever possible, wear masks and wash hands frequently.”

The Utah Department of Heath will provide the residents of Pleasant Grove a free COVID-19 mobile testing center set up at the Pleasant Grove City outdoor pool parking lot. The Utah Department of Health will provide the free testing service:

  • From 2:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday.
  • From 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. on Thursday.

The Utah Health Department asks that community members pre-register, but it is not necessary. Pre-registration will help with testing efficiency efforts. As a reminder, no children under 18 are allowed to participate without a parent.

Daily Herald reporter Genelle Pugmire can be contacted at gpugmire@heraldextra.com, (801) 344-2910, Twitter

@gpugmire

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