In the past few months, the number of students quarantined at Hillcrest began rising. At one point, there were over 150 students and faculty members who had been placed on quarantine. But this will no longer be the case. On December 17, Governor Herbert announced two new changes to COVID-19 guidelines.
Herbert announced that, according to new data, the virus is only spread about 1% of the time if both parties are wearing a mask.
As a result, those who would previously need to quarantine due to a classroom exposure with someone in their classroom will be allowed to stay in school if students were both wearing masks (sltrib.com).
Herbert also announced new changes to school closures. For schools with 1500 or more students, schools will need to transition to online learning once 1% of the population tests positive for the virus. Schools that have less than 1500 students will be required to make the transition once 15 or more students are infected.
In addition, an alternative option to school closures may be in the making. A new pilot program called “Test to Stay” is being tested in Utah schools. This program offers another possibility for schools who reach their positive COVID-19 case thresholds.
According to kslnewsradio.com, the first option is for schools to transition to online learning for 10 days following the outbreak. The second option, the new protocol being tested, if for all students and teachers to be tested. Those that test negative for COVID-19 will be allowed to come back to school, and those who test positive, or refuse to be tested will need to do school online for 10 days.