19 Davis SD schools to go online due to COVID-19; Roy HS also going remote
FARMINGTON — Nineteen Davis School District schools will move to remote and online learning starting Wednesday due to rising numbers of COVID-19 cases among students.
Remote learning will go through Friday, when school officials hope the active case counts fall below the thresholds spelled out in state law that required the move. Students “will be back on Monday,” said Chris Williams, the district spokesperson.
At the same time, though, Williams said district officials continue to monitor case numbers and he left open the possibility that additional schools may join the 19. “There may be more. We just don’t know,” he said.
In the Weber School District, meantime, Roy High School will join Weber and Fremont high schools starting Wednesday in shifting to online learning, also because of rising COVID-19 cases, said Lane Findlay, the district spokesperson. Those are the only three schools in the Weber School District that have had to make the shift, which is to last, as in the Davis School District, through the end of the week.
So far, no schools in the Ogden School District have surpassed the thresholds requiring steps like remote learning to guard against the spread of COVID-19. Even so, Jer Bates, the district spokesperson, said school officials are monitoring the number of student and teacher absences, whether definitively linked to COVID-19 or not. If absences get high enough, some schools could shift to online learning, he said.
COVID-19 “is out there and it’s affecting every one of us,” Bates said.
Davis School District, which encompasses all of Davis County, is the second largest in Utah with 72,540 students, according to state data. The 19 schools going to remote learning represent 20.1% of the 92 educational facilities listed on the district’s COVID-19 dashboard.
“I believe parents are understanding of the situation,” Williams said.
State and federal health officials recommend that those who test positive for COVID-19 isolate for five days, longer if they continue feeling symptoms, to prevent its spread. Since Davis schools weren’t in session Monday or Tuesday, in addition to last Saturday or Sunday, students in the 19 schools haven’t been in contact, at least in a school setting, for four days.
That said, if sick students still exhibit symptoms come next Monday, they should stay home. “Our mantra for the last two years has been stay home if you’re sick,” Williams said.
In the Weber School District, Findlay said no other schools appear to be in imminent danger of surpassing the COVID-19 thresholds spelled out in Senate Bill 107. “Right now, it’s looking like everyone else is holding steady,” he said.
Per SB 107, approved last year, 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.
SB 107 initially called for schoolwide COVID-19 testing in schools surpassing the thresholds. State officials changed that last week, though, in light of rising cases and limited testing materials, allowing impacted schools to go online instead.
The change announced by Gov. Spencer Cox and other officials is in effect through the end of the month. The options after that for schools with high COVID-19 case counts is unclear and state lawmakers, who convened for the 2022 session on Tuesday, will likely be debating the issue.
The 19 impacted Davis School District Schools include Bountiful, Clearfield, Davis, Farmington, Northridge and Syracuse high schools. Also included are Centennial, Centerville, Fairfield, Farmington, Kaysville, Legacy, Millcreek, Mueller Park, North Davis, Shoreline, South Davis, Syracuse and West Point junior high schools.
Four Davis School District elementary schools exceeded COVID-19 thresholds last fall, requiring action. They are Syracuse, Antelope, Buffalo Point and Burton elementary schools.
No public schools in Utah have mask mandates. Many school officials, though, recommend mask use and vaccination against COVID-19 to help prevent the disease’s spread.