HEALTH

Some parents were told children were exposed to COVID-19

Aug 18, 2021, 6:10 AM
Salt Lake children COVID-19...
(File photo. Granite Park Junior High School students wait for their bus to arrive following school in South Salt Lake on Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020. Steve Griffin, Deseret News)
(File photo. Granite Park Junior High School students wait for their bus to arrive following school in South Salt Lake on Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020. Steve Griffin, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE COUNTY — Some parents were told their children were exposed to Covid-19 on the first day of school. It was a rough start for some students in Salt Lake County. 

Some parents were told children were exposed to Covid-19

The notices issued by the Salt Lake County Health Department have the words School Quarantine Notice in big, bold letters at the top.  The letter said there was a confirmed case of COVID-19 at a particular school. The reader is then informed, “the school or district has identified you or your child as a close contact to the confirmed case.” 

Health department Spokesman Nicholas Rupp can’t confirm exactly how many of these notices were sent out. But he said several notices were issued within the past 48 hours to students at more than one school.

Contact happened on school property

He said, “[The contact] did happen on school property, because they received a school quarantine notice.”

Rupp said more notices could be issued. They’re still trying to pinpoint exactly where infected students were and when they were officially diagnosed.  This process could take a few more days. 

“It’s entirely possible that students were exposed to COVID at school yesterday because of other students having COVID due to previous activities before school started,” according to Rupp.

Rupp adds the students with confirmed cases likely caught the virus during extra-curricular activities like theater or football. Most likely it happened before the school year began.

Vaccinated children don’t necessarily need to quarantine

However, even though the letter says School Quarantine Notice, fully vaccinated children don’t necessarily have to be quarantined.  Rupp explains students with the COVID-19 vaccine can still attend class.

He said, “We do ask that you watch for symptoms and be tested three to five days after the exposure.”

If a student hasn’t received the vaccine, Rupp stated they’re asking the child to stay home for ten days or to wear a mask while attending classes.

Rupp adds this reminder, “in either case, on day seven, you can choose to be tested and, if you test negative, you can go back to school or stop wearing the mask.” 

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Some parents were told children were exposed to COVID-19