Weekly District Update - Jan. 15, 2021

Weekly District Update - Jan. 15, 2021
Posted on 01/15/2021
This is the image for the news article titled Weekly District Update - Jan. 15, 2021This week, Uintah School District and TriCounty Health Department worked together to provide at least 300 district employees with their first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. Remaining district employees who have indicated that they wish to be vaccinated will be notified when TriCounty Health receives additional doses of the vaccine.

Vaccination is recommended for district employees but is not required.

As more members of our community receive the vaccine in the coming days and weeks, we anticipate there will be changes to the recommendations from organizations like the CDC, the Utah Department of Health and TriCounty Health. For now, however, the mask requirement for Utah’s K-12 schools remains in effect and we are all encouraged to continue practicing physical distancing and proper hygiene. Also, if you're feeling sick at all, please stay home.

Uintah High School will host a free rapid antigen testing site operated by TestUtah on Jan. 22-23 and Jan. 29-30. Anyone in our community can get tested, even if they don't have symptoms of COVID-19. More information, including testing times, can be found on the district’s website: https://www.uintah.net/news/what_s_new/u_h_s_to_host_free_c_o_v_i_d_testing_site.

The district is currently reporting 17 active cases of COVID-19 in the past 14 days. The largest concentration of cases is at Uintah High, where there have been nine confirmed cases reported in the past 14 days.

Under the state’s new COVID-19 guidelines for education, a school outbreak is considered 1 percent of the school population testing positive within a 14-day period in schools where there are 1,500 or more students and staff. In our district, this would apply to Uintah High only. For all other schools in the district, a school outbreak is defined as 15 confirmed cases in a 14-day period.

The district is preparing for the possibility that one or more of our schools will reach the outbreak threshold in the coming weeks. If that happens, state guidelines allow the district to either move all students and staff to remote learning for at least 10 days or offer rapid antigen testing to all students and staff in what’s been termed a “Test to Stay” protocol.

Under the Test to Stay protocol, rapid antigen testing is voluntary and parent/guardian consent is required before any minors can be tested. Students or staff who decline to be tested would have to work remotely for at least 10 days before they could return to school in-person.

The district is working to ensure that it has sufficient rapid antigen tests on hand, should the need arise to conduct testing at one or more of our schools.

It is important to remember that while the governor, state health department, and TriCounty Health each have legal authority to close schools in response to a public health emergency, the Uintah School Board will decide if or when a school will move to remote or hybrid learning.

The school board held its regularly scheduled work session and business meeting on Wednesday at Vernal Middle School. The board elected Dave Chivers to serve as its president. Robin McClellan was elected to continue serving as the board’s vice president.

An audio recording of the work session can be found here: https://www.utah.gov/pmn/files/675709.mp3.

An audio recording of the business meeting can be found here: https://www.utah.gov/pmn/files/675713.mp3.

Board members celebrated the district’s students of the month during their business meeting. The student of the month video can be found on the district’s YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/3xMGE8MsLRs.

Finally, there is no school Monday, in observance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Classes resume as normal on Tuesday.

Enjoy the long weekend!
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