Canyons school district emergency meeting about COVID-19 cases

News

DRAPER, Utah (ABC4 News) A Corner Canyon high school teacher is currently in the hospital in the intensive care unit as the school sends 500 of their students into quarantine due to COVID-19.

Spokesperson for Canyon’s School District Jeff Haney confirmed there are over 40 positive cases at the school, over 500 students in quarantine, and one teacher in the hospital. This is the highest number of cases in any Utah school to date.

The Canyon’s District School Board is meeting Friday at 4:30 p.m. to discuss options.

According to the COVID-19 dashboard posted to the Salt Lake County Health Department website, the Canyons District has 157 confirmed cases, of which 143 are within the last 14 days.

Other schools around Utah are seeing an increase in cases and during a Jordan School District board meeting on Wednesday, they indicated the cases are spreading at the high school level from student to student contact.

Any decision to transition the school to a temporary hybrid or online schedule as a result of school-associated COVID-19 rates will be made in collaboration with state and local health authorities, stated in a press release by the board.

The Canyons Board of Education also reserves the right to make the final decisions on school-schedule transitions as a result of COVID-19 issues.

To guide the Canyons Board of Education and Administration as the community works together
to face this public-health challenge, the following measures are being considered:

  • Canyons District will launch a data dashboard that includes school-associated positive cases per school for those enrolled in in-person learning, the attendance rate for in person learning, the number of quarantined students, the percentage of students at each school, and community spread by ZIP code.
  • The Canyons’ dashboard will identify by tiers of concern the number of positive cases of COVID-19 in the previous two weeks:
  • Tier 1 would indicate 0 or 1-5 cases in the previous two weeks.
  • Tier 2 would indicate 6 to 14 cases in the previous two weeks.
  • Tier 3 would be 15 cases or more in the previous two weeks.
  • No action would be required for school communities that are in Tier 1.
  • For school communities in Tier 2, a “vigilance letter” would be sent to parents and guardians, and enhanced mitigation strategies will be developed and put into place. The sub-committee of the Board and the District Administration will increase discussion and collaboration with the Salt Lake County Health Department about the affected school communities.
  • For school communities in Tier 3, the District will continue collaborative efforts with the health department and identify and discuss other mitigation strategies.
  • If CSD elementary or middle schools reach a 15-case threshold, the District will engage in an immediate discussion with the health department on potential changes in schedule or other precautionary measures, which may include a temporary pivot to online-learning-only.
  • If any CSD traditional high school reaches a 1 percent positive COVID-19 school associated rate, the District will engage in an immediate discussion with the health department on potential changes to the school schedule or other precautionary measures.
  • If any CSD traditional high school reaches a 2 percent COVID-19 school-associated positive rate within a two-week period, it will trigger a pivot to online learning for 14 days.
  • If there are three or more students in one classroom or involved in an extracurricular activity who test positive within a two-week period, the entire class will be quarantined for 14 days from the last exposure, as determined by contact tracing.

These decisions have impacts beyond the classroom, stated the release. School boards, school administrators, and county health officials should consider the following:

  • The social, emotional, economic, and academic well-being of students and staff;
  • Disease transmission trends in both the school and the surrounding community;
  • The overall safety of students and staff;
  • A school’s ability to provide remote learning; and,
  • The hardships and inequities remote or hybrid learning may present students and families.

Although the Utah governor’s office and health and education officials can close schools in response to a public health emergency, the preference is for local school officials to make these decisions.

Comments from the public can be sent via email to _board@canyonsdistrict.org

ABC4 does not take information from social media posts without approval and we have not received permission to publish the teacher’s name from her family at this time.

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