COVID-19 and Schools
We are excited to announce that, in partnership with the Salt Lake County Health Department, our high schools will be hosting COVID-19 vaccination clinics for students ages 16 and older and their parents or guardians. Making vaccines more readily available is one more tool in our COVID mitigation arsenal, and we are excited to offer this opportunity.
You may be aware that the Utah Legislature passed a bill in March which says the state can no longer require masks in most public places after April 10. I want to remind our community that this bill does not apply to public schools. The mask requirement will stay in place for K-12 schools until at least June 15.
Based on information from the Utah Department of Health, public health officials asked the Legislature (and the Legislature agreed) to keep a mask requirement in place for the following reasons:
- No vaccine is currently authorized for anyone younger than 16.
- Not every adult in the school setting has been vaccinated.
- Children can get sick from COVID and have long-term effects.
- Children can get COVID, not feel sick, and transmit the illness to people at home who aren’t vaccinated yet.
Under the current public health order for schools, all employees, students, and visitors are required to wear masks on school property, on a school bus, and in school buildings until at least June 15. Local officials, including our Board of Education, do NOT have the legal authority to end the mask requirement in schools before this date.
We feel fortunate that due to faithful mask-wearing, social distancing when possible, strict disinfecting and cleaning protocols, and the following of other safety measures, our COVID-19 case counts have decreased significantly in Salt Lake City and have been minimal in our schools. (You can see the latest COVID-19 numbers in all our schools on the COVID-19 Dashboard.) Thank you for all you’ve done to help make sure our students and staff stay safe and to make sure we can continue to offer in-person learning options for those who want them.