TOOELE, Utah — The Tooele County Health Department will initiate the ‘test to stay’ protocol for Tooele High School on Thursday and Friday, September 16 and 17, 2021.
The move by Tooele County health officials comes after the school reported a 2% threshold for positive COVID-19 cases.
Test to Stay tests all students and staff
According to Utah’s coronavirus portal, coronavirus.utah.gov, “the test to stay program allows students and staff to participate in in-person learning as safely as possible while lessening the burden of quarantine and multiple soft closures on students and their families, teachers, and school administrators.
The program involves setting up testing centers at the school in question and administering a COVID-19 test to each student.
However, before a student can be tested the school needs permission from the student’s parent or guardian. An email sent to parents on Tuesday asked them to complete a registration link that would be added to the State of Utah Redcap system (used to track positive and negative cases.)
Test to Stay requires parental permission
Tooele High School officials said that the permission process is the most time-consuming portion of the ‘test to stay’ protocol.
In a statement later in the day on Tuesday, the Tooele County Health Department reiterated what new Utah law requires in the event of a test to stay event, including that schools with 1,500 or more students must test to stay if 2% of their students test positive for COVID-19 within the previous 14 days.
All students and staff members will participate in the Test to Stay protocol. A negative test is required to return to school.
Parents may opt their student out of COVID-19 testing, but that will require the student to be out of school for 10 calendar days.
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.
Utah Coronavirus Information Line – 1-800-456-7707
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