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Fremont HS to move to online learning with rise in COVID-19 cases

By Tim Vandenack - | Jan 14, 2022

Photo supplied, Weber School District

The grounds of Fremont High School, part of the Weber School District.

WASHINGTON TERRACE — The number of positive COVID-19 cases among Fremont High School students has edged past the level spelled out in state law requiring steps to guard against the spread of the infection.

Thus, the school will move next week to virtual learning — no in-person classes at school — to minimize contact among students. What’s more, Weber School District officials are closely watching the COVID-19 numbers at other schools that are approaching the state threshold.

“During the period of online learning, a daily instructional schedule will be followed wherein students are expected to log on and participate in each of their courses at specified times of the day,” Lane Findlay, spokesman for the Weber School District, said Friday. Students will be off next Monday for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, thus the online instruction will occur Tuesday through Friday next week, with in-person learning to resume on Jan. 24.

Findlay said the number of active COVID-19 cases at Fremont High as of next Tuesday is expected to reach 48. With 2,109 students, according to state figures, that amounts to a positivity rate of 2.3%.

State law had originally required schools that exceed the 2% level to test students for COVID-19. But given the lack of testing materials as the number of COVID-19 cases surges across the state, Utah officials announced Thursday that schools could move to online learning as an alternative.

“We are also closely monitoring several other secondary schools that are approaching the threshold mark. The situation at each school will be reevaluated when we return from the holiday weekend,” Findlay said.
Utah Department of Health figures show that the COVID-19 positivity rate is 2.5% at Weber High School and 2.3% at Roy High School. However, district officials don’t use Department of Health data in determining the number of COVID-19 cases at individual schools, at least as it pertains to the 2% guideline.

Whatever the case, many other Utah schools’ COVID-19 case counts have also surged past the 2% mark. In Davis County, the state figures show that nine high schools and eight junior high schools in the Davis School District have surpassed the level.

COVID-19 cases at Ogden High School totaled 21 as of Friday, according to Department of Health figures, nine below the threshold of 30 that would require steps to guard against spread of the infection there.

Fremont High teachers and support staff are expected to be at school next week, though students will work online. Extracurricular activities at the school will take place after school, though students testing positive for COVID-19 must first complete isolation protocols spelled out by state and federal health officials.

The daycare program at the high school will be on pause next week.


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