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Gov. Cox asks parents to vaccinate kids ages 12 and older

August 3, 2021: Utah Governor Spencer Cox speaks at a news conference about the rise in COVID-19 cases in Utah. Screengrab: Facebook.

SALT LAKE CITY — As part of his update Tuesday on the state of COVID-19 in Utah, Gov. Spencer Cox had a message for parents about vaccinating kids ages 12 and older.

“Vaccinated students won’t have to quarantine,” Cox said. “They won’t have to miss practice, games and competition.”

RELATED: Some school districts offering vaccine clinics during fall registration

If it sounds like the governor is expecting outbreaks of COVID-19 once school is in session, he is.

“When the outbreaks start in schools again, there will very likely be disruptions to learning and extracurricular activities,” he said.

“Unless they [students] are vaccinated.”

The number of COVID-19 cases across the nation and in Utah is increasing. The governor called it an uptick and said (Wednesday) 388 people were in hospital beds across the state with COVID-19. A month ago, there were 266.

RELATED:  Where to get a vaccine in Utah for 12 to 15 year olds

Another statistic has particular relevance for parents. As KSL Newsradio reported previously, the number of younger Utahns who have died from the virus is much greater than it was last year before vaccines were widely available.

Scenarios for school-age kids and COVID-19 this year

Cox laid out different scenarios that parents might face once school gets started. 

“Kids who are exposed to someone who tests positive for COVID-19 can continue to come to school if they are fully vaccinated,” he said.

Cox said that whether a child is wearing a mask at school could negate the need for quarantine if the child is exposed to someone with the virus. He did specify, however, that the mask would need to be a high quality, or a N-95 mask, for that scenario to work.

“There’s still time to get your kids 12 and up vaccinated before school starts,” the governor said. “And we would strongly encourage you to do that.”

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).
  • 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