3rd Park City school mandates masks as COVID cases rise

Local News

PARK CITY, Utah (ABC4) – On Wednesday, Ecker Hill Middle School imposed a mask mandate because more than two percent of students had tested positive for COVID-19.

It’s the third school in Park City this month to trigger mandatory face coverings, based upon guidelines set by the Summit County Health Department. Parley’s Park Elementary has been under a mandate since Nov. 1, and Trailside Elementary since Nov. 15.

Parents like Kris Choi are blaming the Park City School District.

“Masks were not enforced and were actively being discouraged,” said Choi, who says Parley’s Park Elementary did not have masks being enforced after more than two percent of students tested positive there.

The Summit County Attorney has launched an investigation into what happened.

Since then, two other schools have reached the two percent threshold, and Choi says it’s beyond disappointing — especially because Summit County leads the state with 78 percent of those eligible here being fully vaccinated.

“For a threshold to be exceeded at one elementary and the mandate not be enforced is only begging further community spread, which could be what’s happened to Trailside,” said Choi, who signed a petition urging the district to act.

On Wednesday, the district provided this letter to ABC4 in response to our request for comment. It’s dated November 15, and was sent from the school board to community members:

To the community,

For the past two years, the Park City School District has focused and prioritized the safety and health of the students and staff while also keeping our schools open for in-person learning. We have spent countless hours adjusting to ever-changing guidance and laws on the local, state and national level with regards to the COVID19 Pandemic.

The Summit County Health Department conducted four separate compliance site visits at Parley’s Park starting last Monday, November 8th at 10 am in light of the County’s Public Health Order. Every walk-through has shown that Parley’s Park has been in compliance with the mask mandate issued in accordance with the Order. We have included a report from SCHD for your review.

After continued evaluation, Parley’s Park Elementary School staff, administration, and students have been found to be in compliance with all protocols outlined in the Public Health Order 2021- 02.

Additional inspections will be conducted at the discretion of the Summit County Health Department.

The conclusion is that “PPES has taken necessary measures with staff, students, parents/guardians, visitors and the physical environment to ensure compliance with the Public Health Order.”

We are actively preparing each of our school sites that fall under the Public Health Order to ensure compliance if a mandate is to be triggered. Those school sites include McPolin, Jeremy, Ranch Elementary, Ecker Hill Middle School and Treasure Mountain Junior High School. Parley’s Park remains in a mask mandate until further notice. Trailside Elementary School has initiated its first mask mandate November 15, 2021.

We want to thank the community for continuing to partner with us to ensure our children stay safe, healthy and in school especially as we enter the winter months.

Erin, Wendy, Anne, Kara, Andrew

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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