SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Sept. 14, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — The Utah Department of Health has added new color-coded information to the school tab of the COVID-19 data dashboard to make it easier to see which schools are approaching a test-to-stay event.
During a test-to-stay event, schools are legally required to conduct a testing event of all students, said a news release from UDoH.
Utah law requires schools to do a test-to-stay event when schools with 1,500 or more students have 2% of their students test positive for COVID-19 within the previous 14 days, the news release said. Schools with fewer than 1,500 students need to have had 30 students test positive for COVID-19 within the previous 14 days.
Schools with confirmed COVID-19 cases will be shown in red, yellow, or green depending on how many students have tested positive for COVID, the news release said. Those listed in red are schools that have met or exceeded the test-to-stay event requirements. Those schools listed in yellow are schools that are more than halfway to meeting the requirements, and schools in green are less than halfway to meeting the requirements for test-to-stay.
“We want to do all we can to keep students in school while keeping them as safe as possible,” said Dr. Leisha Nolen, UDoH state epidemiologist. “While school case data has been available for some time, we hope a color coding system will make it easier for families to know how many children have been identified with COVID-19 in their child’s school so they can make the best decisions for their family during the pandemic.”
Data on the state COVID-19 dashboard may not always match what is reported on local health department or school district websites due to delays in reporting school-associated cases to the UDoH, the news release said.
“School-associated cases are identified through interviews with the person or parents/guardians of a child who tests positive by health department staff, and only cases who have been linked to a school are displayed on the state dashboard,” the news release added. “Local health departments have the most accurate and timely data and will use this local data to determine when to implement test-to-stay, not the data on the state dashboard.”