NORTH LOGAN – On Thursday, Governor Gary Herbert announced updates to the COVID-19 School Manual for schools throughout the state. A full update to the existing manual is not yet published, but the state did produce a summary of the new protocols for schools to follow for contact tracing and quarantining.
In a letter sent to students, parents and faculty in the Cache County School District, there are three main areas of emphasis in the recent changes: Changes in Quarantine Protocols, Changes in Threshold Protocols and Mask Protocols that will go into effect on Jan. 4, 2021.
“If a student or staff member tests positive, then during the contact tracing it is determined that both the positive case and close contacts were wearing masks, those low-risk close contacts will no longer need to be quarantined,” the district stated. “If either the positive case or close contact were not wearing masks, then those close contacts will be quarantined for 10 days.
“The seven day ‘Test and Return’ option will effectively end for schools.”
Previously, if any given school had more than 15 active cases it would be forced to transition to online learning until case counts diminish. Now, that number has changed based on total number of student population. For schools with less than 1500 students, that threshold remains at 15. For schools with studentbody counts above 1500, the threshold will be 1% of the student population. Schools then have two options they can consider: move all students to online, virtual learning for 10 calendar days, or “Test and Stay,” which involves testing all students and staff.
Students and staff that either choose not to be tested, or who test positive, will move to virtual learning for 10 calendar days. The classroom threshold of three students for a classroom intervention will now only apply to elementary schools.
All mask protocols will remain the same. Students, faculty and staff will still be expected to wear masks or face coverings while in the schools or while participating in school-sponsored activities.
As of the most recent report available for the Logan City School District, there are 52 active cases in their district, 20 at Logan High School and 13 at Mount Logan Middle School. Logan High School transitioned to online learning this week after an outbreak in the school forced more than 200 students and faculty into quarantine situations. In the Cache County School District, they are reporting 44 active cases as of Tuesday, December 15th. But in an email to students, parents and faculty on Thursday, Dec. 17 an additional 16 cases with student athletes and coaches that are not part of that total.