SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – With schools open in Utah for several weeks now, the state’s seven-day rolling average far exceeds other places in our nation, like New York state – once the epicenter of the pandemic in our country.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, some New York State students are heading back to the classroom for the first time today. The state’s governor Andrew Cuomo said if New York’s positivity rate exceeds three percent over a seven-day rolling average, he will shut down classrooms.
“The numbers will tell you the facts. And once you have the facts, you can operate logically. If the schools are not safe, I’m not going to allow them to operate. Period,” Cuomo said.
Tuesday, New York reports just above 1% positivity, as Utah reports 13.7%.
These two states along with 31 others are reporting a rise in COVID-19 transmission, according to rt.live.
Here in Utah, students have been back to school for several weeks now. And as of Sept. 29, more than 2,000 students and teachers have tested positive for the respiratory virus.
Governor Gary Herbert addressed the public – during his monthly briefing – responding to a question about his thoughts on Utah schools that have 15 or more COVID-19 cases, that have chosen to not shut down.
“Proportionality ought to be a factor into that and that’s part of the concern we have out there,” Herbert said. “Fifteen in a school may be appropriate if you have a school of 500. It may not be appropriate if you have a school of 1,000.”
The governor has not addressed a rate of positivity benchmark that would shut down schools in Utah.
He does say the state is reviewing their school guidelines and if modifications are made, they will be enforced.
Prior to the start of school, the Utah Department of Health released a COVID-19 back-to-school manual.