Jordan District School Board Changes Cases Needed For Online School From 15 To 56.

On Tuesday the 22nd of September the Jordan District School Board met to discuss two high schools that had surpassed the state health department’s recommended closure count. According to the Utah State Health department’s recommendations a school should suspend in-school learning when 15 students test positive for Covid-19 over a fourteen day period. 

 The Jordan School District rejected the state’s recommendation and determined that if or when a school reaches 2% of the student population with active Covid cases the school will  transition to online learning for two weeks. However, at 15 active cases the school will shut down for one day for a deep cleanse, and when the positive case load reaches 1% of the student population, the school board will have an emergency meeting and discuss the school’s situation regarding Covid cases and determine if it is safe for students to continue learning in person. 

When asked if there could be 25 students that could be active cases every two weeks, Principal Veazie said, “The school could have 50 students a month and not shut down, if not all 50 of those students are within the 2 week active window… We would be at the 1% at that point and there would be a conversation about what to do but probably not lead to any action.”  

The Utah County Health Department has provided the school Jordan District School Board with guidelines but does not have the authority to shut down a school. However, the school board does take into consideration what the Utah County Health Department says, but does not have to follow these guidelines. Principal Veazie said that “The recommendation of the Utah County Health Department is that once you reach 15 active cases that you close down the school and transition to virtual learning for two weeks.” 

There is some discrepancy regarding how case counts are determined. The school considers a case active from 48 hours prior to a students first symptom through the last day of their quarantine. The Utah County Health Department considers active cases from the day the positive case is reported to them for 14 days. Because of the discrepancy we have several who have tested positive, and several more that have been quarantined that have returned to school and have been here a week or more before the Utah County Health Department considers their case no longer active.

When the school first opened, there was some uncertainty about what the case numbers were. Principal Veazie said, “At the school level there was a lot of conversation from the very beginning as to whether or not we should or needed to share that information with the students, with parents, with our community or the faculty and staff.”  The decision was that our principal, Bryan Veazie, would send an email regarding all the information about the pandemic.

The school has had 22 active cases within the first month of the school opening. Three of the active cases have been from the faculty/staff but none of the teachers have tested positive during the school year from what we know. There have been 19 students with active cases of Covid so far since the 24th of September, but the cases are still on the rise. If we estimate for every student, at least 3 students in each of their classes will need to be quarantined, that could be 24 kids quarantined for every active case.