Canyons District's COVID-19 Action Plan, Updates | Read More >

Contract Tracing, Quarantines, and Personal Safety Expectations

Canyons has taken every precaution in response to the COVID-19 pandemic with the goal of providing healthy, safe, and welcoming learning and work environments for students and employees. We have invested more than $1 million in personal protective equipment and hired additional custodial personnel to clean schools and buses throughout the day. Through contact tracing, a corps of school nurses and administrators support local health officials in sleuthing out possible exposures in an effort to break chains of transmission before they take hold. When taken together with other measures, such as the use of face coverings, physical distancing, air filtration upgrades and disinfection techniques, Canyons is using powerful tools to safeguard our schools and communities. Families and employees play an important role in ensuring adherence to our safety protocols, and here’s how:

For answers to questions not answered below, please see these Frequently Asked Questions.

Face Coverings – Utah Public Health Order

In connection with the COVID-19 pandemic and compliance with the Governor’s Executive Order, Canyons School District requires students to wear face coverings while attending in-person school and school sanctioned events to the extent required by applicable federal, state, or local laws, regulations, ordinances, emergency orders, or state/local school board action. 

Face Masks

Except in very limited circumstances, face masks must be worn even when an individual is able to physically distance themselves. The requirement to wear a face mask applies to employees, students and staff even when they are alone in an office, cubicle, or classroom. 

Face Mask means a cloth face covering that covers both the nose and mouth. A cloth face mask:

  • must not have see-through openings that allow a view of the nose or mouth;
  • is made of synthetic or natural fabrics;
  • secures under the chin;
  • fits snuggly against the nose and sides of the face; and
  • does not have an exhalation valve or vent.

Face Shields

It is not known if face shields provide any benefit to protect others from the spray of respiratory particles. Face shields may be worn in addition to a cloth face covering or as an accommodation for students with special healthcare needs.  Please contact your school administrator, school nurse, Section 504 School Coordinator, or if applicable your student’s special education case manager to discuss accommodations.

Face shields may only be worn without a face mask when the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication, such as with an individual who is deaf or hard of hearing or while participating in speech therapy.

Face Shield means a face covering that:

  • covers the entire face;
  • protects the eyes of the wearer;
  • is made of clear plastic or similar nonpermeable transparent material;
  • secures around the top of the head;
  • does not secure under the chin;
  • does not fit snugly against the nose or sides of the face; and
  • can be used in conjunction with a mask for enhance protection.

Exceptions to Face Covering Mandate

In accordance with the public health order students are exempt from wearing a face covering when actively engaging in:

  • Outdoor recess in elementary schools
  • A school-sponsored activity or physical education class if the individual cannot reasonably participate while wearing a face covering. Each individual participating in a school-sponsored activity must complete a symptom assessment, verbally confirm they are free of COVID-19 symptoms before participating in each event, and attest to the fact they have not been in close contact (within 6 feet for 15 minutes or more) with a COVID-positive case in the last 14 days prior to participation

What are some strategies I can use to help students wear a cloth face covering in school?

  • Be positive when you talk about ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and wearing face coverings. Discuss disease prevention as something positive we can do to reduce everyone’s risk.
  • For students with sensory concerns or tactile sensitivities try face coverings made of different materials, prints, and textures. Allow students to choose the most comfortable face covering.
  • Teach children how important it is to wear a face covering, and remind them often.
  • If young children have a hard time wearing a face covering for long periods of time, choose the most important times they should wear them.

Students with Special Healthcare Needs

While cloth face coverings are required to reduce the spread of COVID-19, it may not be possible in every situation or for some people to wear a face covering. In some situations, a cloth face covering may make a condition worse or be a safety concern.  Canyons School District recognizes that some students may have disabilities, medical conditions or mental health conditions for whom wearing a face covering may cause harm or obstruct breathing and thus we will reasonably accommodate these students.

Examples of Student Needs and Alternative Accommodations for Students

  • Using a clear face covering or face shield
  • If a clear face covering isn’t available, consider
    • Use of written communication, closed captioning, or
    • Decrease background noise to make it possible to communicate if you are wearing a cloth face covering that blocks your lips.
  • Use of plexiglass barriers
  • Additional staff assistance to place, reposition, and/or remove face coverings.

It may be challenging initially for young students, students with intellectual and developmental disabilities, mental health conditions, or other sensory sensitivities to wear a cloth face covering.  Consistent with all school behavioral expectations, school staff will support students attempting to wear their mask through positive reinforcement and reteaching reminders.

Face Covering Exemptions

School teams are equipped to provide a large variety of accommodations to support students in adhering to the Public Health Order.  If you are concerned about your student’s ability to comply with this order we encourage you to speak with a school administrator, school nurse, Section 504 School Coordinator, or if applicable your student’s special education case manager.  On rare occasion, in consultation with your medical healthcare provider, it may not be appropriate for students to wear face coverings while attending in-person school.

In order to receive an exemption from applicable face covering requirements, a Face Covering Exemption form must be completely filled out and returned to the school your student attends prior to attending in-person school without a face covering. Please contact your school nurse to discuss your student’s needs and to receive a copy of the Face Covering Exemption form

What if a student who does not qualify for an exemption refuses to wear a face covering?

When a student, by their own choice or at the direction of a parent, refuses to comply with the face covering requirement, the school is legally able to exclude the student from school. Although, Canyons School District respectfully recognizes a parent or student’s opinion, the public health order does not allow for students who do not qualify for an exception to remain in school.

Canyons School District has developed behavior response plans for students not wearing masks appropriately during the school day and during school sanctioned activities.  This plan includes positive support options for students attempting to learn appropriate mask use and alternative options for students refusing to comply with the current public health order.

Behavior Response Scenario: Student is not wearing a cloth face covering

Utilize Tier 1 Strategies (e.g. provide reminders and support, provide positive feedback when student is using a mask).

Provide a mask.

Follow accommodations and intervention support plan.

Continue with positive feedback. Add corrective feedback, precision requests, parent contact.

Discuss possible interventions (e.g. proximity, increased + to -, clear procedures/expectations, etc.).

Refer to school administration for defiance. Provide explicit reteaching, parent contact.

Continued refusal – determine if exclusion is appropriate. Discuss possible interventions, consider online options.

Everyone Must Help to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 in Our Schools.

Students should:

  • Tell their parents or teacher if they feel sick or have symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Stay home from school and other activities if they feel sick or have symptoms of or test positive for COVID-19.
  • Follow the quarantine guidance if they are exposed to someone with COVID-19.
  • Wear a cloth face covering or mask at school.
  • Practice physical distancing as much as possible.
  • Wash their hands with soap and water often.

Parents should:

  • Check their child for symptoms of COVID-19 every day before school.
  • Take their child’s temperature every day before school. If their child has a temperature of 100.4º F (38º C) or higher, the child has a fever. If parents do not have a thermometer, they should check their child’s skin to see if it feels warm or is red, or ask if they have chills or are sweaty.
  • Keep their child home from school if they feel sick or have symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Follow the quarantine guidance if their child or anyone who lives in their home is exposed to someone with COVID-19.
  • Before the school year starts, tell the school if your child has a health condition that puts him or her at a higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
  • Review and update their child’s plans (Individual Healthcare Plan, Individualized Education Plan, 504 plan) with the school.
  • Review and update personal and emergency contact information with the school.
  • Help your child clean their cloth face covering or mask.

School Faculty and Staff  should:

  • Stay home from school or work if they feel sick or have symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Follow the isolation guidance from the health department if they test positive for COVID-19.
  • Follow the quarantine guidance if they are exposed to someone with COVID-19.
  • Encourage students to wash their hands with soap and water often.
  • Wear a cloth face covering or mask at school.
  • Practice physical distancing as much as possible.

Symptoms of COVID-19

Children who are sick at all should not go to school. Parents should check students for symptoms of COVID-19 every day before school.  If students, teachers, or employees have any of the 6 symptoms of COVID-19, which make them eligible for testing, they should call a healthcare provider and get tested for COVD-19, even if the symptom is mild. Testing locations can be found at


(temperature of 100.4°F or 38°C or higher or feeling feverish)


Shortness of breath

Decrese in sense of smell or taste

Sore throat

Muscle aches and pains

I Think My Student had Direct Exposure to COVID-19, What Should I Do

I was exposed to an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19.

During that activity:

  • I was within six feet of other individuals AND
  • I sustained interaction of 15 minutes or more with the other individual.


I live with or am caring for someone with COVID-19.

You are required to self-quarantine and monitor yourself for symptoms.

I think someone I know has COVID-19


I was exposed to an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19 but I was not within six feet of that individual for 15 minutes or more.

You do not need to self-quarantine, but it is a good idea to monitor yourself for symptoms

Your health care provider may order COVID-19 testing for you.  If you receive a positive result, please contact your school.

Seek immediate medical attention.

Contact your health care provider to discuss your symptoms

Continue to monitor yourself for symptoms.

What Happens if a Student, or Staff Member Tests Positive for COVID-19?

If a student, teacher, or employee test positive for COVID-19, they will be asked to isolate right away. This means the person needs to stay at home and away from other people as much as possible. The student, teacher, or employee will not be allowed to return to work until the isolation period is complete.

Isolation occurs until their symptoms get better, they have been fever-free for 24 hours without medicine AND it has been at least 10 days since they first had symptoms or tested positive. Students, teachers, and employees should not go to school or work until the health department has said they are done with isolation.

People who have been in close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19 are at an increased risk of getting infected and infecting others. Close contact means someone was closer than 6 feet or 2 meters (about 2 arm lengths) to a person who has COVID-19 for 15 minutes or longer. Contact tracing is how public health workers find the close contacts of someone who has COVID-19.

Contact Tracing in Schools

The school nurse works with the health department on contact tracing. Once this occurs, the school nurse will notify eligible students, parents, teachers, and employees if they were exposed to COVID-19 at school. The health department will notify those who are considered “high risk” if they were exposed to COVID-19 at school.

What is the Difference Between Quarantine and Isolation?

Quarantine is for people who may have been exposed to COVID-19, but aren’t sick yet. Isolation is for people who are sick, have symptoms of COVID-19 or has tested positive for COVID-19.


Quarantine keeps you away from others so you don’t infect someone else without knowing it. Symptoms of COVID-19 may appear 2-14 days after exposure.  Students will be required to quarantine if they were exposed to COVID-19. This means you were in close contact with someone who has COVID-19. Close contact means you were closer than 6 feet from someone who has the virus for 15 minutes or more.

Under guidelines released by Utah government and education officials on Thursday, Oct. 8, quarantined students and employees who test negative for COVID-19 after the seventh day from their last exposure — and, importantly, only if they were wearing masks at the time of exposure — can return to in-person learning, activities, and work.  

The new “Low Risk Test and Return” guidance was recommended by a school medical advisory group and approved by Utah Gov. Gary Herbert and the Utah State Board of Education. Effective immediately, time in quarantine for Canyons students and employees can be reduced significantly if:   

  • The school verifies the student, teacher or staff member who was exposed and the person who tested positive were both wearing a face mask as defined by the State Public Health Order on masks in schools. Face shields do not count as face coverings under the health order.  
  • The student or employee tests negative for COVID-19  (the test must be a PCR or antigen test and not an antibody test) at least seven days after the last exposure.Those currently on quarantine may now seek a new test for a possible early return.  
  • The student, teacher, or staff member does not have symptoms of COVID-19.

Students and employees must meet all three criteria to return from quarantine before 14 days has transpired. 

If the person does not meet all three criteria or chooses not to get tested, she or he should quarantine at home for 14 days from the last day of exposure. 

Parents need to check their child for symptoms of COVID-19 every day during their quarantine. If they get sick or develop symptoms of COVID-19 during quarantine, parents should call a healthcare provider and get their child tested for COVID-19. Testing locations can be found at

Outbreak Criteria

Outbreaks can happen in one area (like a classroom) or extend more widely (like a school or district)

1 case in a classroom is not considered an outbreak

  • Only individuals who were in close contact will be notified and required to quarantine at home for the designated 14 days

2 cases in a classroom within a 2 week or 14-day period puts a classroom on alert for heightened awareness

  • We will notify the students and parents within the class of the situation and ask them to take extra precautions and remind them to stay home if feeling sick
  • Enhanced cleaning will take place during this time

3 cases in a classroom within a 2 week or 14-day period is considered an outbreak

  • Everyone will need to quarantine for 14 days at home from the date of last exposure.
  • The school will clean the classroom per guidelines established by the health department

School Closure

The District, working with health authorities, will monitor COVID-19 cases in schools to determine if and when a school needs to be placed on quarantine. The Board of Education has approved a roadmap to guide these decisions, which can be found by clicking here.  

District Closure

If multiple schools are quarantined the local health department in collaboration with Canyons District Leadership will make this decision on a case by case basis.

Four Healthy Hygiene Procedures

  1. Wash hands for 20 seconds with soap and water:
    • After you blow your nose, cough, or sneeze.
    • After you use the restroom.
    • Before you make or eat food.
    • Before and after you care for another person who needs help.
    • Before and after you take breaks at work.
    • After you put on, touch, or take off a cloth face covering or masks.
    • If you do not have soap and water, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  2. Physical distance. COVID-19 is mainly spread by close contact. Stay at least 6 feet or 2 meters (about 2 arm lengths) from people who do not live in your home as much as possible. We know this isn’t easy in a school setting. If you can’t stay 6 feet away from other people, stay as far away as you can. Any distance between you and other people can help.
  3. Wear a face covering or mask. Cloth face coverings are effective at reducing the spread of COVID-19, especially when both people who may come into close contact are wearing a face covering. It is important to remember that even when you wear a face covering, you still need to physical distance to the best extent possible.
  4. Stay home if you are sick. Students, teachers, and employees should not go to school or work if they are sick. They should stay home until they are feeling better.

Downloadable Acknowledgement Forms

Updated 8.18.2020
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