EDUCATION

Utah Department of Health releases COVID-19 recommendations for schools

Aug 2, 2021, 4:05 PM | Updated: Aug 3, 2021, 2:13 pm
COVID-19 vaccine Utah educators schools...
FILE: Anne Easton teaches French at Cyprus High School. (Photo: KSL-TV)
(Photo: KSL-TV)

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Department of Health officials have released their COVID-19 recommendations for schools. 

In a statement released today, Utah health officials suggested a “layered prevention approach,” in K-12 schools. This includes:

  • Wearing a mask when indoors
  • Isolating at home if you test positive for COVID-19
  • Quarantine and other protective measures after a school exposure
  • Testing for COVID-19
  • Staying home when you’re sick
  • Physical distancing and cohorting
  • Improving or increasing indoor ventilation
  • Hygiene practices
  • Cleaning and disinfection
  • Encouraging everyone 12 years and older to get vaccinated for COVID-19

The recommendations can be found at https://coronavirus.utah.gov/education

“We strongly recommend local health departments and schools use a layered prevention approach, including encouraging vaccination and mask wearing, among other strategies,” said Dr. Michelle Hofmann, deputy director of the UDOH. “Doing so can help minimize the disruptions of COVID-19 on schools while maximizing opportunities for children to participate in in-person learning and extracurricular activities.”

New COVID-19 recommendations for Utah schools won’t force masks

There is a new law in Utah that forbids school districts from mandating masks.  The so-called “pandemic endgame” legislation approved by Utah lawmakers this spring and signed by Gov. Spencer Cox prevents school districts from unilaterally mandating masks in schools. However, parents can still choose masks for their children. 
In a tweet, Speaker of the Utah House of Representatives Brad Wilson addressed the issue of masks in school, indicating that state officials will be able to “adapt to changing circumstances.”

According to Utah Department of Health Data, just about a third of children ages 12 to 18 are currently vaccinated against COVID-19 in the state. Younger children, under age 12, still cannot receive the vaccine. Additionally, doctors raised concerns within the last week about the spread of the delta variant of COVID-19 in schools.

Read more: 


How To Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus

COVID-19 coronavirus spreads person to person, 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.
  • Don’t touch your face.
  • Wear a mask to protect yourself and others per CDC recommendations.
  • 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).
  • Obtain a flu shot.
  • Seek out the COVID-19 vaccine.

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

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Utah Department of Health releases COVID-19 recommendations for schools