Tooele High School students and teachers switched to online learning on Friday as the number of active COVID-19 cases at the school exceeded the 15 count trigger in state guidelines.
“On Thursday, after reaching 13 active cases, the decision was made to go to online learning and by the end of the day the count reached 15,” said Marie Denson, Tooele County School District Communications director.
The health department has not linked the outbreak to any single school event or activity, according to Denson.
While the school building is closed, classes will continue online for two weeks, with students returning to the school for in-person on October 29.
Guidelines in the state COVID-019 School Manual call for the transition to online classes for two weeks when the active number of cases in a school building reach 15.
The transition to online learning should be smooth for Tooele High School students, according to Denson.
The school district is already one-to-one when it comes to students and electronic devices. Tooele High School students were to take their school assigned Chromebooks home and use them as they continue their classes online, she said.
With the fall break this week and Fridays already being designated as online learning days, students will only miss six and one-half days of face-to-face instruction. With the normal purple/white class schedule continuing during the online time, students will only miss three days of full face-to-face time for each class, according to Denson.
“This online schedule is not intended to be two weeks off of school. It is two weeks of online instruction that will allow our school/community to reset and allow all those students that are impacted by the virus to recover,” reads instructions posted by the school district on the THS website.
Extra-curricular activities such as performing arts, in-season athletics, and other scheduled competitions will continue, however volleyball and football at THS have been canceled for this week.
Each participant will be provided four tickets for family members at home events.
Football will play in their playoff game on Oct. 23 and volleyball on Oct. 24.
The school will continue to provide breakfast and lunch as grab-and-go curbside pick-up in front of Tooele High School. Pick-up times will be from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.
The Oct.12 pick-up included breakfast and lunch for 3 days. The Oct.19 pick-up will include breakfast and lunch for five days.
While the Tooele High School building is closed for face-to-face classes, THS students enrolled in classes at the Community Learning Center or Tooele Technical College may continue to attend those classes as long as they have no symptoms of CIVD-19 and have not been in direct contact with someone who has tested positive. Students who are unable to attend CLC or Tooele Tech classes will not be penalized, but they need to make contact with their teachers to let them know they will not be in attendance.
As of Monday at 5 p.m. the school district reported 20 active COVID-19 cases among THS staff and students. Overlake Elementary School had seven active cases. Anna Smith Elementary in Wendover reported five active cases. Old Mill Elementary reported two active cases. Rose Springs Elementary, Tooele Junior High, Stansbury High and Wendover High schools all reported one active case at each school. The rest of Tooele County School District facilities report no active cases as of 5 p.m. on Monday.
The Utah Department of Health Department in conjunction with the Tooele County Health Department had a mobile testing lab at Tooele High School from 2-5 p.m. today for school district employees, students, and their families.
Health department and school officials remind students to wear face coverings when in public, keep their distance, avoid large group gatherings, wash their hands, stay home when sick, avoid touching their face, and cover their coughs and sneezes.
Students currently out on quarantine or required to be in isolation need to complete their quarantine/isolation as directed in the communication that was sent home.