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Syracuse High School to begin soft closure after 'Test to Stay' program falls short

Posted at 6:53 AM, Dec 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-07 19:39:48-05

SYRACUSE, Utah — Syracuse High School will move into soft closure Tuesday, just hours after the debut of a Davis School District program aimed at keeping as many coronavirus-free students as possible in the classroom.

It’s called “Test to Stay.”

The "Test to Stay" pilot program was tried at the school, and students went to the school's gymnasium Monday morning to get tested.

“This is a rapid test that we’re giving to students, the students volunteer to come down here, they need their parental permission to take part," said Chris Williams, PIO for the Davis School District. "We’re going to see by the end of the day, kind of like an election I guess, if we can hit that 80% threshold to keep school open tomorrow.”

However, only 68 percent of the students were tested, and 19 additional people tested positive for the coronavirus. Because of those numbers, the school will move into soft closure.

The district sent emails to parents Friday and again Monday, and the response was said to be overwhelmingly positive, and the 80% threshold was expected to be reached.

Classes will not be held Tuesday as teachers prepare for full-time remote learning which will begin on Wednesday and run through Dec. 18.

Before "Test to Stay," the standard procedure would be to put the school into soft closure and move to remote learning, Davis School District, in coordination with the Utah Department of Health and the Davis County Health Department, is piloting the “Test to Stay” program to keep the school open.