EDUCATION + SCHOOLS

Small COVID-19 outbreak in Kaysville likely linked to school play

May 18, 2021, 9:02 PM

COVID-19 outbreak in Kaysville...

(Fairfield Junior High School in Kaysville. File photo, courtesy Davis School District)

(Fairfield Junior High School in Kaysville. File photo, courtesy Davis School District)

KAYSVILLE, Utah – Davis County health officials confirmed a small outbreak of COVID-19 that likely stemmed from a junior high school in Kaysville. Over two dozen confirmed cases of COVID-19 come from this school.

This small COVID-19 outbreak likely won’t have any impact on the state lifting the mask mandate for school children on the last week of class.

Health investigators believe the COVID-19 outbreak spread among drama and choir students at Fairfield Junior High School in Kaysville. Davis County Health Department Spokesman Trevor Warner said the students were rehearsing for an upcoming play.

Warner stated, “My understanding is when they were doing dress rehearsals and the actual play, they were not wearing masks.”  State health officials report students involved in things like sports and fine arts were not required to wear masks while practicing.

So far, 27 students have tested positive for coronavirus, but that number could go up. This does not reach the two percent threshold that would require all students to be tested, and Davis School District Spokesman Chris Williams said they’ve seen outbreaks like this before.

“Earlier in the spring, we had numbers like this at some other schools,” Williams said.

The students who tested positive will have to stay home for two weeks. 

This outbreak comes just before the statewide mask mandate for school children is set to be lifted.  Utah Department of Health Spokesman Tom Hudachko said the plan to allow students to go mask-free for the last week of the school year is still in place.

Hudachko said, “Both the governor and the CDC have indicated that it’s time to start easing up on the mask requirements.”

He said this is an important reminder that outbreaks are not just a possibility, but likely to happen, even as the number of vaccinations continues to climb.  He said parents will have to decide whether or not they want their children to wear a mask to school for the remainder of the year.

“It’s not surprising to us that we will continue to see localized outbreaks like this, particularly among populations that have not quite had the chance to have a significant uptake in vaccine,” Hudachko said.

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Small COVID-19 outbreak in Kaysville likely linked to school play