COVID-19-FAMILIES-SCHOOLS

Health department: Salt Lake City schools lowest risk of student COVID-19

Oct 6, 2021, 6:00 AM
school mask mandates...
(Masks handed out by volunteers at West High School in the Salt Lake City School District. Credit: Paul Nelson, file)
(Masks handed out by volunteers at West High School in the Salt Lake City School District. Credit: Paul Nelson, file)

SALT LAKE CITY — The Salt Lake County Health Department says the Salt Lake City School District has had the lowest COVID-19 case rate during the weeks of the school year. 

Cumulative student COVID-19 risk

The Salt Lake City School District has the lowest cumulative risk for student COVID-19 infection in the county, according to the county health department. 

“It’s the first 40 days for each school district and this represents the overall infection risk to kids in the school system,” said Salt Lake County Health Department Executive Director Dr. Angela Dunn.

Dr. Dunn delivered a presentation on infection rates in the county during a county council meeting Tuesday afternoon. 

The risk is based on the number of cases since the start of the school year per 100,000 student population. 

When broken down further, Dr. Dunn said elementary schools in the Jordan School District have the highest risk of student infection. 

She said the risk was highest in Granite School District middle and high schools. 

The Utah Department of Health estimated there could be 39,000 cases of COVID-19 in school-age kids by the end of September. That number ended up being only 9,957. 

Hospitalizations

In a Tweet posted Tuesday afternoon, Dr. Dunn said 33 kids under the age of 18 were hospitalized with COVID-19 over the first 49 days of school.

She said approximately 58% of those hospitalized were between the ages of 5 and 17 years old. 

According to the Utah Department of Health COVID-19 dashboard, 41 school-age children across the state were hospitalized in August and 49 in September. 

Student risk of COVID-19 right now

During her presentation on Tuesday, Dr. Dunn elaborated on the 14-day case counts for each district in the county. She said this is an accurate depiction of what is happening currently instead of over the first 40 days of the school year. 

Per health department calculations, the Granite District has the lowest case counts right now for elementary schools and Canyons has the highest. 

Canyons also has the highest case counts among middle and high schools. Murray City School District has the lowest.

According to Dr. Dunn, these figures were tallied as of noon on Tuesday. 

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