Finish strong! The last leg of the school year is in sight — and Canyons District encourages students, teachers, Education Support Professionals, and volunteers to maintain a healthy mindset until the end.
The safety precautions that have been in place since the outset of the pandemic — and enforced in schools since the start of the school year — have led to decreased COVID-19 case counts in Canyons communities. Vaccination rates also are on the upswing among those who qualify by age to get them.
These pieces of good news, coupled with a newly passed state law that lifts the state’s mask-wearing mandate in most public places on April 10, have prompted questions among some folks in in the community about whether masks will be required in schools after Spring Recess.
The answer is short: Yes. The mask requirement for Utah elementary, middle and high schools remains in place until June 15, according to a statewide health order.
To be clear, face masks will continue to be required in schools, on buses, and at the District Office after April 10, even for those who have been vaccinated for the novel coronavirus.
Canyons District does not have the legal authority to end the mask requirement in schools before June 15. Public health officials asked the Utah legislature — and the legislature agreed — to keep a mask requirement in place for the following reasons:
- No vaccine is currently authorized for anyone younger than 16.
- Not every adult in the school setting has been vaccinated.
- Children can get sick from COVID and have long-term effects.
- Children can get COVID, not feel sick, and transmit the illness to people at home who aren’t vaccinated yet.
Schools are planning in-person proms, activities, and graduations, which can only happen if the community continues to make efforts to slow down the spread of COVID-19.
Mask wearing, according to health officials, is one of the easiest and best ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
In other words, masks help keep kids doing what they want to do. Let’s give the Class of 2021 something we couldn’t give to the Class of 2020.
Canyons District will continue to work with the Salt Lake County Department of Health to ensure the health and safety of all the District’s school-aged children.