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Vaccinations ramping up for Utah teachers and school staff

Vaccinations for teachers and school staff across Utah are ramping up as they began receiving their first doses of COVID-19 vaccines this week.

Saturday the Alpine School District is set to start vaccinating their teachers and staff. Those vaccinations will occur at three set locations every Saturday until February 6.

On Friday the Granite School District and Jordan School District began rolling out vaccinations for their educators.

They have collaborated with other school districts in Salt Lake County for vaccine distribution based on doses allotted by the Salt Lake County Health Department. The first round of doses are for those in the highest age bracket.

The school districts say they were allotted vaccine based on their size or enrollments. In succeeding weeks, more employees will be vaccinated as more doses are made available.
Vaccinations will be provided on an ongoing basis until all Granite employees have had the opportunity to receive both doses.

On Tuesday the Davis School District saw long lines as it started vaccination clinics at the Legacy Events Center.

On Wednesday the Nebo School District, Alpine School District, and Murray School District started vaccinating staff.

“It was super-easy. It felt like the flu shot. I’m not the biggest fan of needles. If I can do it, anybody can do it,” said Krystin Elder, a choir teacher in Murray. She said she was excited to tell her students about it.

Thursday the Canyons and Salt Lake City School Districts began their efforts in getting teachers and staff vaccinated as well.

“It’s a relief,” said Terri Petersen, a first-grade teacher in Canyons District. “I’m just grateful for everyone who has made this possible, on the national and local level. I’m grateful for the scientists. I feel fortunate to live in a day and age when this is possible.”

The Canyons clinics are done by appointment. Nurses gave about eight shots every minute for a total 1,280 given on the first day.

“This is a big day,” said Canyons Superintendent Rick Robins, “a day we hope will be the beginning of the end of COVID in our community.”

In the Salt Lake School District, 800 doses were available to start, which will cover about 25 percent of employees. Those vaccination clinics are set up at West High School and Highland High and will be held every Thursday afternoon.

Teachers have been teaching in-person since August at every school district in Utah except Salt Lake City, which is the only district that does not offer an in-person choice.

The plan is to distribute the vaccine in phases as supplies become available. Right now the focus is on vaccinating school employees who are 55 and older.

But community members have to be older than 70 to sign up right now.


Related:

Davis School District rolls out COVID-19 vaccine for teachers and faculty

Calls to reopen classrooms grow as teachers get the vaccine

HERO Project showing Utah elementary schools are low-risk for transmission of Covid-19


How To Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus

COVID-19 coronaviruses transmitted from person to person. It is a virus that is similar to the common cold and the flu. So, to prevent it from spreading:

  • Wash hands frequently and thoroughly, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds.
  • Wear a mask.
  • Don’t touch your face.
  • Keep children and those with compromised immune systems away from someone who is coughing or sneezing (in this instance, at least six feet)
  • If there is an outbreak near you, practice social distancing (stay at home, instead of going to the movies, sports events, or other activities.)
  • Get a flu shot.

Local resources

KSL Coronavirus Q&A

Utah’s Coronavirus Information

Utah State Board of Education

Utah Hospital Association

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Utah Coronavirus Information Line – 1-800-456-7707

National Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Commonly asked questions, World Health Organization

Cases in the United States