Increased COVID-19 cases associated with Draper Park Middle and Jordan High are requiring mitigation efforts at both of the schools.
A temporary pivot to online learning is planned for Draper Park Middle, which currently counts 17 cases, according to county health officials, who also note the upswing in positivity rates in the Draper area.
As a result of the rising cases at the Draper school, all students at Draper Park will learn remotely from Thursday, Jan. 21 until Feb. 1. Students will attend school at Draper Park on Wednesday, Jan. 20 before beginning the period of remote learning.
Draper Park parents were notified on Tuesday, Jan. 19 of the decision to move online for a short period of time.
Jordan High parents also have been informed about a “Test to Stay” event being planned for Thursday, Jan. 21. The case count associated with the ‘Digger school community jumped to 26, and the ZIP codes surrounding the school also are experiencing an uptick in positivity rates.
Under the Utah Department of Health’s “Test to Stay” program, students at a school of Jordan’s size that has reached a 1 percent rate are offered rapid antigen tests at the school and during school hours. Those who test negative are able to remain in school and those who test positive are directed to isolate and learn remotely.
Those who choose not to test are asked to learn remotely for 10 days, or the length of time that the school would have spent in an online-learning schedule if the COVID-19 positivity rate kept going up.
The aim of “Test to Stay” is to identify and remove asymptomatic spreaders from the school environment, reducing the risk of school-based exposures. Researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control have found that more than half of COVID-19 infections are transmitted by those who do not exhibit symptoms. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2774707
The program also is offered as an alternative to moving online for a short period of time.
If a student has tested positive for COVID-19 within 90 days of a school commencing testing, the student does not need to be tested. Families are still encouraged to complete the online consent form, however. This is because it’s unknown how long state health officials will advise keeping the test-to-stay program in place. Students who have recovered from the virus and would like to opt out of testing will need to bring documentation showing the date they received a positive COVID-19 result.
The test-to-stay testing supplants any upcoming required testing for students to participate in Utah High School Activities Association-sanctioned sports or activities. The results of this round of testing will suffice for the students who “Test to Play” as part of their participation in UHSAA activities.
The consent form completed by parents for the Test to Play will be accepted for Test to Stay. There is no need for parents to submit another consent form.
After Jordan High completes the testing effort, the school’s COVID-19 case count will reset zero 10 days after the start of testing. The Administration hopes to complete the testing in one day at Jordan.
Alta High was able to test some 1,000 students on Tuesday at the District’s first-ever “Test to Stay” initiative. The testing at Alta will continue throughout the week.