TOOELE, Utah, Sept. 3, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — Tooele County Health Department will require masks in schools that meet certain case thresholds, officials said.
“Schools with outbreaks of COVID-19 that meet the case threshold outlined in Senate Bill 107 will be required to have all students and staff wear masks for 30 days,” said a news release from the health department.
“A school with 1,500 or more students meets the case threshold if at least 2% of the school’s students test positive for COVID-19. A school with fewer than 1,500 students meets the case threshold if 30 or more of the school’s students test positive for COVID-19.”
For purposes of determining whether a school has reached the school’s case threshold, a student is included in positive cases for the school if the student within the preceding 14 days, attended at least some in-person instruction at the school, and tested positive for COVID-19.
“Children can and do get COVID-19 and are at risk for severe illness from the virus,” the news release said. “Even when the illness isn’t severe, children may suffer from long-term health effects and may spread the virus to other people. COVID-19 also severely disrupts learning, school attendance, and involvement in extracurricular activities. Children ages 12-17 have low vaccination rates. Right now, children ages 12-17 are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, but vaccination rates of those 12-17 are low.”
The news release added: “Children under the age of 12 are not eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at this time, that is why it is so important to add additional layers of protection. Wearing a face mask can significantly decrease the chance a person or child will spread the virus to others or be infected by the virus. Wearing face masks and getting vaccinated reduces the spread of COVID-19 and is an added layer of protection for children in schools during an outbreak. Masking is an additional response that is being used to help slow the spread of infection and protect the community.”