SUMMIT COUNTY, Utah (ABC4) — The Summit County Health Department is outlining new face covering guidelines in elementary schools.
It will take effect on Wednesday.
Dr. Phil Bondurant is the Summit County Health Director and says he doesn’t want what happened in Salt Lake County with mask guidelines to happen in Summit County.
Bondurant says he’s proud of what the Summit County Council and the State Board of Education came up with.
Masks are currently not required in middle schools or high schools in Summit County, but in elementary schools, it could look different.
“These matters are not only important, but they are also emotional,” says Bondurant.
Bondurant says under the new order starting this Wednesday, face coverings would be required if any individual elementary school campus reaches a two percent 14-day COVID-19 positivity rate among the total number of students, staff, and faculty.
“We are doing the best we can to protect these children and help keep them in school this entire school year so they can focus on learning, having fun, social interactions in that elementary school rather than what’s happening with the Covid pandemic,” Bondurant says.
The pandemic has been fought off well in Summit County.
According to Covid-19 data in Utah, out of the almost 20,000 hospitalizations from the virus about 200 of those have come out of Summit County.
However, Bondurant says because the vaccine is not available to elementary-aged school children, yet masks need to be required if that threshold is met.
“It’s a very motivated topic and it is emotionally driven, and it should be,” shares Bondurant. “It is parents looking out for the best interests of their children.”
Bondurant says parents have given him very positive messages since the announcement on early Saturday afternoon.
“Our main goal is to get through the school year,” says Bondurant. “Be kind and keep people happy and healthy and let’s get past COVID together so we can return to normal.”
Utah legislation said the order will be reviewed in 30 days.
If the threshold is met, students and parents will know at least one to two days ahead of time if a mask will be required in school.
If they don’t abide, there will be disciplinary actions, according to officials.