Gov. Herbert orders 2-week ‘soft closure’ of public schools to prevent spread of coronavirus in Utah

Local News

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – Gov. Gary Herbert announced Friday that Utah’s public schools will implement a two-week “soft closure,” starting Monday, March 16. The dismissal is designed to help implement social distancing and slow the spread of coronavirus in Utah.

Herbert called the move as a preventative measure that will be reassessed at the end of the two-week period to determine whether or not the policy should continue. 

“We feel strongly that the best way to keep our communities healthy is to implement these measures early, rather than late,” the governor said. “Acting now to limit community spread will help reduce the number of cases of coronavirus that we see so that our healthcare community will have the capacity to care for patients who need help.” 

Teachers have up to two days to make plans to continue instruction. Remote instruction will resume on Wednesday, March 18, at the latest, and may take many forms. Parents and students can expect more information from their individual school districts and charters.

Superintendent Syd Dickson explained that schools will still provide services to students who need them through the dismissal period. 

“To be clear, we are in prevention mode, not reaction mode,” Dickson said. “We are not reacting to a confirmed COVID-19 case in any of our schools, rather we are entering a critical new phase in the fight to stop the spread of COVID-19.”  

More information about which services will be provided on campus for your student during the dismissal will be provided by local districts and charters. 

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