Weekly District Update - Dec. 18, 2020

Weekly District Update - Dec. 18, 2020
Posted on 12/18/2020
This is the image for the news article titled Weekly District Update - Dec. 18, 2020We're only two school days away from Christmas break and we're celebrating with some good news.

Yesterday, Gov. Gary Herbert announced that quarantine guidelines for Utah schools will change on Jan. 4.

When classes resume after the break, those who have close contact at school with another individual who tested positive for COVID-19 will not have to quarantine, as long both individuals were wearing masks at the time of the contact. Those who test positive for the virus will still need to quarantine at home. Anyone who wasn't wearing a mask when they were in close contact with someone who tested positive will also need to quarantine.

The change is based on data that shows classrooms are a low-risk environment for COVID-19 transmission. Only about 1 percent of students who have quarantined after a potential exposure at school have gone on to test positive for the disease, according to state officials.

The mask mandate for K-12 schools will be extended until at least Jan. 21, to allow give state leaders to assess the effectiveness of the quarantine and testing changes.

The Utah Department of Health also announced on Thursday that its recommendations for moving to remote learning after a COVID-19 outbreak in a school will change in the new year. For schools with more than 1,500 students, health officials will recommend that the school should move to remote learning if more than 1 percent of the student body tests positive for the disease. In our district, this would only impact Uintah High School.

For schools under 1,500 students, the recommendation will remain that if 15 or more students test positive, the school should move to remote learning for at least 10 days.

If a school meets the outbreak threshold, it will have a "test to stay" option, the state health department said. Everyone at the school can receive a rapid antigen test. Those who test negative can continue in-person instruction, while those who test positive or who decline to be tested will move to remote learning for at least 10 days.

Based on the changes announced Thursday and current trends in our area, the Uintah School District is confident we will be able to open all schools for 100 percent in-person attendance after the Christmas break.

As a reminder, Dec. 22 is the last day for free grab-n-go breakfast and lunch until classes resume on Jan. 4.

Finally, this will be the last Weekly District Update of 2020, barring any major developments.

We hope you have a great weekend and a wonderful Christmas break.
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