UTAH (ABC4) – After an emergency session held Thursday evening, the Granite School District has announced that schools will switch to remote learning from Jan. 18 to Jan. 21 due to rising COVID-19 cases.

The move comes as state officials suspended the “Test to Stay” program to prevent further strain on the state’s COVID-19 testing resources

Classes will also not be held on Friday Jan. 14 due to a previously scheduled teacher planning today or on Monday Jan. 17 due to Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Grab and go meals will continue to be available at participating schools. Extracurricular activities held at the high school level will continue as normal but activities at the junior high and elementary schools in the district will be rescheduled, the district states.

Granite School District superintendent Dr. Richard Nye said the following in in an email to district families Thursday evening:

“We fully recognize that distance learning is not ideal and we have concerns with respect to our students and their emotional well-being. In-person instruction provides important structure and support for our kids. However, in the last two weeks, we have had over 2200 teacher substitute requests as well as a surge in student absenteeism. In 3 recent Test to Stay events at our schools, newly identified cases were significant with 1 in 5 students testing positive. 

It is our sincere hope that this brief pause from in-person instruction will provide both our staff and students an opportunity to reduce the spread of COVID 19 and this highly contagious Omicron variant within our community. We also hope that it will allow an appropriate amount of time for students and staff to regain their health. We thank you in advance for your support of our schools during this challenging time.”

Students will return to in-person classes on Jan. 24.