Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah
image Stansbury High School on Sept. 3, 2020. Three students that attend Stansbury High School have tested positive for COVID-19.

September 3, 2020
3 students at Stansbury High School test positive for COVID-19

Parents of students with “close contact” notified 

Some Stansbury High School parents are upset that students that attend the school tested positive for COVID-19, but not all parents were informed.

A total of three Stansbury High School students have tested positive for COVID-19 since school started, according to a school district official.

Following guidelines in the Utah Department of Health’s COVID-19 School Manual, school district employees identified and notified parents of students that were in “close contact” with the students that tested positive.

Close contact is defined as students that were closer than 6 feet from somebody that tested positive for COVID-19 for 15 minutes or longer, according to the COVID-19 School Manual.

That includes anybody in a classroom setting that sat in font, back, or to the side of the person; a teacher or employee that may have been within 6 feet for 15 or more minutes; or anybody within 6 feet for 15 or more minutes during an extracurricular activity.

School employees use assigned seating charts for classroom, buses, and lunch rooms to help identify students with close contact.

Only the parents of students with close contact, or school staff with close contact to the person need to be notified by the school, according to the manual.

“Only students, teachers, or employees who came into close contact with the person who tested positive will be notified of a possible exposure,” reads the instructions for contact tracing found in the manual.

However, the Tooele County School District has prepared a template of a notice for schools to send out to all parents.

The notice informs all parents that a person at the school has tested positive for COVID-19 and it instructs them that if they were not contacted personally that their student was not identified during the contact tracing as one that was in close contact with the person that tested positive.

People with close contact to a person who have tested positive for COVID-19 are asked to quarantine for 14 days.

The COVID-19 School Manual instructs quarantined people: “If you are asked to quarantine, you should stay in your home and not go around other people as much as you can. You should not go to work, school, extracurricular activities, religious services, family gatherings, or other activities. If you must leave your home for essential items like groceries or to seek medical care, you need to take extra safety precautions.”

After observing the amount of time administrators at Stansbury High School put in notifying students with close contact, the Tooele County School District Board of Education met in a special meeting on Tuesday and authorized the hiring of contact tracers to assist in the identification and notification of people with close contact when somebody at a school tests positive for COVID-19.

 

Tim Gillie

Editor at Tooele Transcript Bulletin
Tim has been writing for the Transcript Bulletin since October 2017. In February 2019 he was named as editor. In addition to being editor, Tim continues to write about Tooele County government, education, business, real estate, housing, politics and the state Legislature.A native of Washington state and a graduate of Central Washington University, Tim became a journalist after a 20 year career with the Boy Scouts of America.

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