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School Districts working to help keep parents informed about COVID-19

Posted at 10:14 PM, Sep 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-02 00:32:31-04

MAGNA, Utah — As cases of COVID-19 continue to rise in the absence of mask mandates in schools, FOX 13 is looking at the safety measures in place to prevent a serious outbreak.

FOX 13 reached out to several school districts.

The Granite School District opened up about protocols for when a student tests positive for the virus. Those protocols are guided by the local health department.

“We are doing the best we can to work through a challenging circumstance,” said Granite School District spokesperson Ben Horsley. “I don't think they are that different and it's largely unchanged since last year.”

Read - Nearly 100% of Salt Lake City students wearing masks, officials say

Just like last year, the district tracks cases on its website.

“That is live updated as cases are inputted by the health department,” Horsley said.

Cases can also be added to the count when a parent reports a positive test to the school.

The biggest change this year deals with contact tracing which is now more time consuming with fewer people inside school buildings wearing masks than a year ago.

First, contact tracers identify students who had direct exposure to the person with the positive COVID case.

“They will identify anyone who has been with that student within a 24-hour period, for longer than 15 minutes, within six feet,” Horsley said.

Read - How Utah's COVID-19 numbers compare to Colorado, a state with school mask requirements

Then, the contact tracers will reach out to those students to determine if the student needs to quarantine.

They can avoid quarantine if they wear a mask in indoor school settings, are vaccinated, or have recovered from the virus within a 90-day period.

“School is going quite well,” Horsley said. “We are not seeing as many quarantines and that's because of increased vaccination rate and mask wearing.”

Districts are also directed by the county health department to send a letter to all families of students in a classroom where a positive case is recorded, regardless of exposure status.

A complete list of school district COVID-19 case counts can be found here.