‘Spike’ of COVID-19 cases at Corner Canyon High School could curtail in-person learning

Corner Canyon High School in Draper is pictured on Monday, Aug. 17, 2020.

Corner Canyon High School in Draper is pictured on Monday, Aug. 17, 2020. | Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

19 confirmed cases associated with the school over past 14 days, most of them students

SALT LAKE CITY — After a sudden increase in confirmed COVID-19 cases associated with Corner Canyon High School, the Canyons School District is discussing pivoting the school to full or part-time remote learning, according to a statement to the school community.

According to the Salt Lake County Department of Health, there have been 19 confirmed cases of COVID-19 associated with the Draper high school over the past 14 days. Seventeen of the cases were among students, while one was an employee and the other an adult visitor. Some 2,300 students attend the school.

“The way we count cases associated with the school is, it’s anyone that had in-person contact at that school for at least 15 minutes over the past 14 days from the time we became aware of the case,” said Ilene Risk, Epidemiology Bureau manager with the Salt Lake County Health Department on Friday.

The number of cases has surpassed the Utah State Board of Education’s threshold to shift from in-person learning to remote instruction, Risk said.

“Once a school hits 15 or more, then our recommendation from a public health standpoint and laws is to go 100% virtual. It’s somewhat up to the school district. They are very concerned about it as well, very responsive. We had two calls with them yesterday, just trying to work through all this and trying to help make the best decisions,” Risk said.

The district’s statement to the school community issued Thursday evening said in part: “While Canyons District’s overall cases of COVID-19 are lower than some neighboring districts, we have experienced a sudden increase in the number of confirmed COVID cases associated with Corner Canyon High. This spike has prompted discussions about a possible required school-schedule switch to either full or part-time online instruction. The Canyons District administration continues to monitor the situation and evaluate options with the guidance of the Salt Lake County Health Department.”

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The statement urges “vigilance among Charger families.”

The statement does not specify numbers of cases but says “the number of active and confirmed school-associated COVID-19 cases is becoming close to a threshold that would require extra precautionary measures for the school. It will take the combined efforts of the community to maintain a consistent level of health and wellness.”

Canyons School District spokesman Jeff Haney said school district administrators issued the statement after meeting with county health department officials much of Thursday to review and investigate reports of COVID-19 in the Corner Canyon High School community.

“It was important for us to alert the community that we’re diligently looking into the reports and we want it to be as up front with them as possible about our actions to keep the school as safe as possible,” he said.

Parents would have already been notified by health or school officials if, during the contact-tracing process, their child was …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Utah News


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