COVID-19 Health and Wellness

Contact 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 and rapid COVID testing, 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. 

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 https://coronavirus.utah.gov/testing-locations.

Fever

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

Cough

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

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

Any student, teacher, or employee who tests positive for COVID-19 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 an individual’s respiratory symptoms improve and he or she has been fever-free for 24 hours without medicine AND it has been at least 10 days since the onset of symptoms or testing 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

Quarantine keeps you away from others so you don’t infect someone else without knowing it. Symptoms of COVID-19 may appear days after exposure. Students and employees may be required to quarantine if they were exposed to COVID-19.

Under state, mask-to-mask guidelines released in December 2020, students, teachers, or employees who were exposed to someone with COVID-19 at school do not have to quarantine if:

  • The school can verify that both people were wearing face masks (the person who was exposed and the person who tested positive) as defined by state public health order, and
  • The person who was exposed does not have any symptoms of COVID-19.

If at any time during the 14 days after their exposure a student, teacher, or employee develops symptoms of COVID-19, he or she should isolate and get tested right away. If the person does not have symptoms, he or she should wait 7 days after they were exposed to get tested.

If either person was not wearing a mask at the time of exposure

Students, teachers, or employees who were not wearing a mask at the time of exposure or who were exposed to someone who was not wearing a mask may end quarantine:

  • On day 10 without testing. If you don’t have symptoms of COVID-19, you can end quarantine 10 days after the last time you had close contact with the person who tested positive.
  • On day 7 with a negative test result. You can get tested on day 7 of your quarantine. You can end quarantine if your test is negative and you do not have any symptoms of COVID-19. You must wait at least 7 days after the exposure to be tested. The test can be a PCR or rapid antigen test. You must continue to quarantine until you get your test results back.

Students, teachers, or employees who live with someone who tests positive for COVID-19 must quarantine for 10 days from the last day of exposure to the person who tested positive. You must finish the entire 10-day quarantine, even if you don’t have symptoms or test negative.

Test to Stay (testing for school outbreaks)

The goals of “Test to Stay” are to allow 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. A Utah Legislative Audit has recommended Test to Stay as the primary COVID mitigation strategy for schools/ Canyons began implementing the program in its high schools in January, 2021.

When a school meets the outbreak thresholds, the local education authority (in consultation with the local health department) can decide to either:

  • Offer rapid antigen testing for all students and staff, or
  • Take other actions decided upon by the LEA to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 consistent with public health guidance.

Schools must get parental permission prior to testing.

Prior to a test being administered to a student, the school must obtain written permission from the student’s parent or guardian. A parent may revoke permission for their student’s participation in testing events at any time during the school year by notifying the school in writing.

Rapid antigen testing

Schools will provide rapid antigen testing for the “Test to Stay” option. Schools will determine when and how to offer the testing to students, teachers, and staff. All test results must be reported to the Utah Department of Health. Schools need to be familiar with the limitations of antigen testing. These tests work best when someone has symptoms of COVID-19 or it has been 7 days after an exposure to the virus. A negative antigen test result does not mean they won’t ever get sick with COVID-19. Precautions like wearing a mask, physical distancing, and following isolation and quarantine guidelines must still be taken. More information on antigen tests can be found at: https://coronavirus-download.utah.gov/Health/COVID-19_ Rapid_Antigen_Test.pdf.

Students who are offered rapid antigen testing:

  • Must isolate at home if they test positive, even if they had symptoms before the test. They may return to in-person learning after they are done with their isolation period.
  • May continue in-person learning if they test negative, are not a close contact of a person who tests positive, and do not have any symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Students who choose not to get tested should move to virtual or remote learning for at least 10 days if:
  • Fewer than 60% of students in the school participate in the testing event, or
  • The percent of positive tests among those who participated in the testing event (called percent positivity) is 2.5% or greater.

Teachers and staff are expected to continue their normal job duties in-person if they choose not to get tested or test negative. They should isolate at home if they test positive or follow quarantine guidelines if they were exposed to COVID-19.

Students who miss the testing event at the school may get tested at a testing provider of their choice. This testing must be done within the same 2-days as the school Test to Stay event. There are many free testing locations across the state, listed at https://coronavirus.utah.gov/utah-covid-19-testing-locations. They must show proof of the test result to the school. This documentation must include the student’s name, testing location, date of the test, type of test, and test result. At-home PCR or antigen test kits are not allowed.

There may be situations where students with special healthcare needs may be unable to participate in testing because of physical, mental, or behavioral limitations. Parents should work with their child’s healthcare provider and the school to see if accommodations are possible in these situations, such as using a saliva PCR test instead of a nasal swab test. 

In rare circumstances, a student who is unable to participate in the Test to Stay testing, or is unable to use a different type of test, may be allowed to attend school. Parents of children with special healthcare needs should make this request to the school. Parents may wish to talk with their child’s healthcare provider, the school nurse, or local health department when making this decision. Parents and the school should consider the following circumstances when deciding if a student returns to in-person learning without being tested:

  • If strict prevention measures can be taken, including mask wearing by the student, teachers, and the student’s other classmates.
  • The student’s IEP or 504 plan services would be significantly disrupted if the student was moved to remote or virtual learning.
  • The student attends school in a self-contained unit, away from the general student population.

Do I have to get tested for the Test to Play or Test to Stay school testing protocols if I’ve been vaccinated?

You are considered immune, or protected from the virus, 2 weeks after your 2nd dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. If you were exposed to the virus before you had the chance to get  your 2nd dose of the vaccine, or were exposed before your body developed full immunity, you can still get sick with COVID-19. Most K-12 students won’t be able to get vaccinated because they are too young to receive the vaccine. COVID-19 vaccines are only approved for people 16 years of age and older. The Pfizer vaccine is approved for people 16 years of age and older. The Moderna vaccine is approved for people 18 years of age and older.

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 10 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 10 days at home from the date of last exposure.
  • The school will clean the classroom per guidelines established by the health department

Employee and Student COVID Testing

In line with new state requirements, Canyons District’s high schools on Monday, Nov. 30 began administering rapid COVID-19 testing to all students and employees involved in Utah High School Activities Association-sanctioned activities, including sports and performing art programs. The testing is free and administered by specially trained staff every 14 days as a prerequisite for participation in practices, rehearsals, competitions and performances. 

Students and staff members may elect to not be tested. But doing so precludes the person from participating in athletic or extracurricular activities by order of the Utah Department of Health.

Additionally, Canyons District is providing optional COVID testing as a courtesy to all teachers and staff and their minor children. The District began administering rapid testing free of charge to employees on Monday via a drive-thru testing center located in the garage beneath the Canyons District Office, 9361 S. 300 East in Sandy. Employees who are experiencing symptoms and test positive are advised to undergo confirmation PCR testing at the Maverik Center on Tuesdays, Thursdays or Saturdays, 3200 S. Decker Lake Dr. in West Valley City.

To sign up for CSD’s drive-thru testing, employees must complete the online form found at this link and line up inside their vehicle outside the north entrance of the District Office parking garage at any of the following times and days:

  • Mondays, 6:30-9 a.m. 
  • Tuesdays, 6:30-9 a.m. 
  • Wednesdays, 3-5 p.m. 
  • Thursdays, 3-5 p.m. 
  • Fridays, 8-10 a.m. 

Students who are not experiencing symptoms but hoping to return to school following seven days of quarantine can register for free testing through this health department website.

All tests administered by the District are the BinaxNOW rapid antigen test, a minimally invasive swab test taken from inside the edge of the nose. It is among the most accurate of available rapid tests with a sensitivity of 97.1 percent and a specificity of 98.5 percent, which means false positives are unlikely. 

Results are interpreted visually within 15 minutes and reported to employees and parents and guardians through a secure Utah Department of Health portal. Those who test positive for COVID-19 will be directed to isolate per the instructions they receive from health authorities. 

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.

COVID Vaccines

How do COVID-19 vaccinations affect quarantine and isolation guidelines?

You are considered immune, or protected from the virus, 2 weeks after your 2nd dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. This means, 2 weeks after you’ve gotten both doses, you don’t have to quarantine, even if you are exposed to someone who tests positive. You should still wear a face mask and take precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 until more people are able to get the vaccine.

However, there are certain circumstances when you may need to quarantine or isolate, even after you’ve had the COVID-19 vaccine.

We don’t know yet how well COVID-19 vaccines prevent you from spreading the virus to others, or if they just keep you from getting sick. Some vaccines do not prevent you from getting a virus, but keep you from getting sick or ending up in the hospital if you get it. For example, some people who have gotten a flu shot may still get sick, but they don’t end up in the hospital. This means even though they still caught the virus, the vaccine prevented them from getting severe illness. This also means you can still spread the virus to other people, even if you don’t get sick.

COVID-19 vaccines are extremely effective at protecting you from the virus. Until medical experts see in real life conditions whether or not you can still spread the virus

to other people after you’ve been vaccinated, it’s important to continue using all the tools available to us to help stop this pandemic: wear a mask, stay 6 feet apart from people who don’t live in your home, wash your hands often, and stay home when you’re sick. Once most people are vaccinated, life can start getting back to normal.

Quarantine and get tested for COVID-19.

Students, teachers, and school staff should follow quarantine guidelines as outlined in the COVID-19 School Manual.

Quarantine and get tested for COVID-19.

Students, teachers, and school staff should follow quarantine guidelines as outlined in the COVID-19 School Manual.

Quarantine and get tested for COVID-19.

Students, teachers, and school staff should follow quarantine guidelines as outlined in the COVID-19 School Manual.

You don’t need to quarantine. However, if you get symptoms of COVID-19 after you were exposed, you should isolate and talk to a doctor or healthcare provider.

It’s likely recommendations for testing, isolation, and quarantine will change as we learn more about COVID-19 vaccines.

Do students, teachers, or school staff still need to get tested if
they develop symptoms of COVID-19 after being vaccinated?

You are considered immune, or protected from the virus, 2 weeks after your 2nd dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. If you were exposed to the virus before you had the chance to get your 2nd shot, or were exposed before your body developed full immunity, you can still get sick with COVID-19.

What to do if you have symptoms of COVID-19:

Isolate and get tested right away.

Isolate and get tested right away.

Isolate and get tested right away.

Isolate and call your doctor or healthcare provider. It is likely that something other than COVID-19 is causing your symptoms. However, your doctor may want you to get tested for COVID-19. COVID-19 vaccines do not interfere with the accuracy of the test.

Do students, teachers, or school staff still need to isolate if they test positive for COVID-19 after being vaccinated?

Yes. You should isolate if you test positive or have symptoms of COVID-19, even if you have gotten both doses of the vaccine. This is a good thing to do anytime you feel sick, so others don’t get sick too. We know COVID-19 vaccines keep you from getting sick or having severe illness. However, we don’t know yet if the vaccine will keep you from getting the virus altogether. This means there may be a chance you could still get the virus and spread it to other people, even if you never get symptoms.

The COVID-19 vaccine is not a cure and won’t lower your risk right away. It usually takes 1-2 weeks after you get vaccinated for your body to start to create an immune response. You are considered fully immune, or protected from COVID-19, 2 weeks after your 2nd dose of the vaccine. Your body starts to create an immune response after the 1st dose, but you need 2 doses to be completely protected. This means it’s still possible for you to be infected with COVID-19 just before or after you are vaccinated, or between doses. You can still get sick at these times because the vaccine didn’t have enough time to protect you.

It’s likely recommendations for isolation, quarantine, and testing will change as we learn more about COVID-19 vaccines.

Downloadable Acknowledgement Forms

Updated 8.18.2020