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Syracuse Elementary to require students be tested for COVID-19

(File photo: Heidi Diedker, a registered nurse with the Davis School District, times several COVID-19 tests from Woods Cross High School student-athletes at the school in Woods Cross on Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020. Photo: Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.)

SYRACUSE, Utah — For the first time this year, one school is requiring students to be tested for COVID-19 before they return to class.  Syracuse Elementary will implement its test-to-stay policy after meeting a high-enough number of infected students.

Officials with the Davis School District say state law requires any school with less than 1,000 students enact the test-to-stay policy when they have more than 30 students who test positive for COVID-19.  Syracuse Elementary reportedly had 39.  District Spokesman Chris Williams says they expected confirmed cases to rise.

“We would just see those [numbers] rise, and we knew that, eventually, we were going to be in this situation,” he said.

Williams says testing will be offered by school nurses in the library. Parents will be allowed to accompany their kids if they want. However, parents will have to give their permission before the child gets tested.

“If they don’t give that permission, the student will be asked to not return to school.  If they feel more comfortable getting a test through their own physician or at a testing site, that’s just fine,” Williams said.

Syracuse Elementary is the only school currently using test-to-stay for now. However, Williams says they’re tracking upticks of confirmed cases in high school and junior high students in Davis County.

He said, “They seem to involve areas of Syracuse, areas of West Point and areas of Clearfield.”

However, Williams says there’s no talk of implementing a mask mandate in schools. It would be similar to the mandate in the Salt Lake City School District.

“I can say, as I go out to schools, the majority of students are not wearing masks.  It’s their prerogative, they can do that if they want to, or not,” Williams said.

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