Weber High moving to remote learning due to COVID-19 cases
PLEASANT VIEW — Weber High School students, like their Fremont High counterparts, will have remote schooling this week due to rising numbers of COVID-19 cases in the school.
Weber School District schools were closed Monday for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, so the remote and online learning at the two schools will be in effect Tuesday through Friday. District spokesperson Lane Findlay said messages went out last Friday to the Weber High community members advising them of the news “so it’s official.” Fremont High students and parents received word earlier in the day Friday.
The two schools are the only ones in Weber County so far to implement steps to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus due to the rising number of cases, per thresholds spelled out in a state law passed last year, Senate Bill 107.
Data from the Utah Department of Health shows that Roy High School has also passed the threshold, however, and that other Weber School District schools are nearing the limit. But district officials conduct their own counts of infected students in determining whether SB 107 guidelines should kick in. According to Findlay, officials would be reevaluating the situation at district schools when classes resume on Tuesday.
Per SB 107, schools with at least 1,500 students must take measures to prevent COVID-19’s spread when active cases represent 2% of the student body. For schools with fewer than 1,500 students, the threshold is 30 active cases among students.
As written, SB 107 dictates that impacted schools must implement a COVID-19 testing regimen, requiring students who test positive for the virus or don’t submit to testing to isolate. Gov. Spencer Cox and other state leaders changed that last week, allowing affected schools to conduct classes online instead owing to limited testing materials brought on by a crush of COVID-19 cases caused by the omicron variant.
In-person learning will return to Fremont and Weber high schools on Jan. 24. Utah Department of Health guidelines, though, call on those who have symptoms of COVID-19 to stay home, even if vaccinated.
While Weber and Fremont high schools are the only ones so far that have surpassed SB 107 thresholds, according to a district review of cases, Utah Department of Health data shows that 44 Roy High students were infected, 2.3% of the student body. Those figures would face review from district officials since some infected students may not have been in school and wouldn’t count toward figures used in determining whether SB 107’s provisions take hold.
At Bonneville High in Washington Terrace, 24 students were infected, 1.7% of the student body, according to state figures. The threshold there is 30 students since enrollment at the school is under 1,500.
Several other schools in Weber County have surpassed or are nearing the 2% threshold, according to state data. But because they each have fewer than 1,500 students, the threshold is 30 infected students:
- At Sand Ridge Junior High in Roy, 22 students were infected, 2.5% of students.
- At Roy Junior High, 24 students were infected, 2.4% of the total.
- In the Ogden School District, 2% of Ogden High School students, 21 of them, were infected.
- At Mound Fort Junior High, also in the Ogden School District, 2.2% of students were infected, or 13 of them.
- At Wasatch Elementary, also in Ogden, eight students were infected, 3.3% of the total.
According to Utah Department of Health data as of last Thursday, 15.6% of kids aged 5-11 and 52.8% of kids aged 12-17 were fully vaccinated in Weber and Morgan counties.
Meantime, the number of cases among kids and teens across Utah is spiking, paralleling the overall spike here and across the country. There were 9,347 new COVID-19 cases among those aged 5-17 from Jan. 4-10, up from 3,728 cases the week before and 3,856 cases in the same period a year earlier.