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Despite surge in COVID-19 cases, Provo School District high schoolers are back in class

Posted at 12:30 PM, Nov 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-09 14:30:42-05

PROVO, Utah — Despite the rise in COVID-19 cases, the Provo City School District is moving to phase two of its plan, bringing more students back to the classroom.

Secondary schools in the district have been in phase one since the start of the school year, but starting Monday, secondary students will be in class Monday through Thursday.

The district says while there is some apprehension with rising COVID-19 numbers, administrators feel confident in their plan.

“Hand sanitizer, those things have been provided for the teachers and the students and we make sure there’s enough of that in the classroom,” district spokesperson Caleb Price said. “Handwashing is encouraged really all of the things that we’ve been doing all year will continue just with more kids in the school.”

The district is continuing to follow state guidelines by making sure that:

  • Classrooms are sanitized regularly
  • Masks must be worn in school
  • Students and teachers must practice social distancing
  • If anyone is sick, stay at home

“The safety committee is continuing to meet daily and we’re closely evaluating what we’re seeing and going on as far as covid goes in our community and schools,” Price said. “So a change could be made if that’s needed.”

If cases in any of the schools get out of control or the well-being of students and teachers starts to decline, Price said there’s a chance the district could move back to phase one.

“We’re watching mental health, we’re watching academic success and things that we’re seeing in those areas as well in school to make decisions,” Price said.

In accordance with the governor’s new mandate, all after-school programs including clubs and sports have been put on hold until at least November 23, when the state of emergency is set to expire. Tryouts for boys and girls basketball and wrestling teams will be delayed.

Playoff games and state championships will continue, as long as guidelines established to slow the spread of the coronavirus are followed.