ALL NEWS

COVID-19 challenges persist as Utah kids go back to class

Aug 19, 2020, 8:40 PM | Updated: 9:06 pm
COVID-19 challenges Utah...
It's rare for children to get a serious case of COVID-19. But the pandemic is still posing challenges for many Utah schools.

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The COVID-19 pandemic continues to pose challenges as Utah kids go back to school. 

Utah State Superintendent of Public Instruction Sydnee Dickson told state lawmakers that kids are pretty happy to be back in class. Teachers are also giving positive feedback. 

Superintendent Dickson said one of the challenges is access to broadband, which can be spotty or non-existent in certain areas. Schools will also rely on broadband as a backup should they have to move classes back online. 

“We have to look at broadband as an essential utility, just like electricity and water at this point,” Dickson said. 

State epidemiologist Dr. Angela Dunn told the Education Interim Committee that schools should practice the same principles of mask-wearing, washing hands, deep cleaning, and social distancing to keep everyone safe from COVID-19.

When asked about the efficacy of masks, Dunn indicated the health department is putting together a resource for people to give them facts about face coverings and combat myths. 

But she also admits there is not as much information on children wearing masks or COVID-19 transmission because they have been out of school for so long. 

“We don’t even know how well kids can transmit it when they’re symptomatic, even less so when they’re asymptomatic. So, that’s why we’re really relying on the principles of physical distancing and mask-wearing to prevent any potential spread of COVID-19,” Dunn said. 

Dunn said that even though it’s rare for a child to get a serious case of COVID-19, there are other health issues to look at. 

“I think there is certainly a possibility that there are other effects we just don’t know about yet. And of course, we do know about MIS-C [Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children], which is a specific manifestation of COVID-19 in a pediatric population that does result in death.”

Dunn indicated how much misinformation is floating around, saying she gets comments claiming there are no issues with kids going back to school and, “I get another comment telling me that I am killing children by allowing them to go to school, neither of which are true.”

Another challenge the health department faces is how to test students for COVID-19.

Currently, they give families information on where they can get tested. However, the health department is still working on a testing strategy. 

“As testing technology changes, as we hopefully get more rapid testing available, how are we going to implement those in the school setting?” Dunn said. 

While some teachers are happy to be back to school, Utah Education Association President Heidi Matthews said there are still challenges getting teachers their personal protective equipment. She also said it was tough for some teachers to balance the extra workload of teaching on campus and making sure online students get their materials. 

One bright spot in all the uncertainty is unemployment. 

Utah School Superintendents Association Executive Director Lexi Cunningham said many people are interested in becoming substitute teachers, giving districts needed employees if a teacher has to quarantine.   

Today’s Top Stories

All News

This photos shows the gate to the Duke Energy West End substation in Moore County, N.C. on Sunday, ...
Nouran Salahieh and Hannah Sarisohn, CNN

Tens of thousands still in the dark after ‘targeted’ attacks on North Carolina power substations

With no suspects or motive announced, the FBI joins the investigation into power outages in a North Carolina county.
6 hours ago
Man who shot Lady Gaga's dog walker...
Taylor Romine and Elizabeth Wolfe, CNN

Man involved in shooting of Lady Gaga’s dog walker sentenced to 21 years in prison

Originally Published: 05 DEC 22 21:53 ET     (CNN) — One of the people charged in the shooting and robbery of Lady Gaga’s dog walker last year has been sentenced to 21 years in state prison, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office said Monday. James Howard Jackson, 20, pleaded no contest to one count of […]
6 hours ago
Great Salt Lake State Park and Marina...
Mark Jones

How much will it take to save the Great Salt Lake?

A bipartisan bill was passed in the U.S. Senate aimed at giving funding toward the study of The Great Salt Lake and other saline lakes in the west.
1 day ago
goblin mode...
Christian Edwards, CNN

‘Goblin mode’ chosen as Oxford word of the year for 2022

According to OUP, the term refers to a behavior which is "self-indulgent, lazy, or greedy, typically in a way that rejects social norms or expectations."
1 day ago
free national park...
Aimee Cobabe

Lawsuit against Arches National Park after incident resulting in the death of a woman

A trial is underway after a woman was decapitated at Arches National Park. Her family alleges the park was negligent in not securing a gate that killed her.
1 day ago
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 19:  The U.S. Capitol is shown as a looming government shutdown threatens ...
Manu Raju and Phil Mattingly, CNN

Defense bill likely to include end to military Covid vaccine mandate, source says

A massive bill setting defense policy is likely to end the military Covid vaccine mandate, a source familiar with the negotiations tells CNN.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...
Macey's

5 game day snacks for the whole family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The best tools for Deaf and hard-of-hearing workplace success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
christmas decorations candles in glass jars with fir on a old wooden table...
Western Nut Company

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas [with recipes!]

There are so many clever mason jar gift ideas to give something thoughtful to your neighbors or friends. Read our 12 ideas to make your own!
wide shot of Bear Lake with a person on a stand up paddle board...

Pack your bags! Extended stays at Bear Lake await you

Work from here! Read our tips to prepare for your extended stay, whether at Bear Lake or somewhere else nearby.
young boy with hearing aid...
Sorenson

Accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing

These different types of accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing can help them succeed in school.
COVID-19 challenges persist as Utah kids go back to class