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Utah School Uses Hula Hoops To Teach Kids, Parents About Social Distancing

WEST JORDAN, Utah — One Utah elementary school used hula hoops to help emphasize good social distancing during the coronavirus outbreak as parents came to pick up laptops and other supplies for their students.

Terra Linda Elementary School placed the hoops on the sidewalk so when parents formed a line to get their materials, they would be separated by three to six feet. Each person was asked to stand in the middle of the hula hoop to keep the distances.

“It’s to keep all of us safe, to keep all of us healthy, because this coronavirus is so contagious,” said Karen Gorring, Terra Linda Elementary School principal.

Gorring said this also sends a message to students about the importance of social distancing. She said many students don’t believe it’s a problem to be hanging out with a group of friends during this health crisis.

“I’ll tell you the attitude of my own kids, ‘hey let’s have a party. We are on a coronavirus party.’ We’ve had to really educate them and say absolutely not. In these uncertain times you can’t be careful enough,” she said.

Isaac Ngatuvai, student body president at Bingham High School in South Jordan, is getting that message very clear from his mother, who has set some strict rules about hanging out. That includes hanging out with his girlfriend.

“No hugs, no high five’s, no kissing, pretty much six feet apart,” he said with a smile. “It’s tough, I’m not going to lie.”

As a result, Ngatuvai is talking with other student body officers through virtual chat.

Some of those students told KSL there is an attitude among teenagers that they don’t have to follow the “social distancing” rules.

“Teenagers don’t really care because they don’t think they are affected by it,” said Carter Olsen, Bingham High’s senior class president. But he said the problem is teenagers could give the virus to others.

That’s why Gavin Ballard, Bingham High’s junior class president is staying home.

“My parents are being pretty strict about it which I’m fine with so I can’t hang out with friends right now,” he told KSL’s Dan Rascon via an online chat. “We are not doing it so we don’t get it, we are doing it so we don’t spread it.”

It’s a message Ngatuvai is trying to get across to other teens.

“I would say be super careful you never know who you could infect,” he said. “Go outside, go to the park, don’t be super touchy, keep your distance from each other.”

Coronavirus Resources

How Do I Prevent It?

The CDC has some simple recommendations, most of which are the same for preventing other respiratory illnesses or the flu:

  • Avoid close contact with people who may be sick
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then throw the tissue in the trash
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. Always wash your hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

The CDC does not recommend wearing a face mask respirator to protect yourself from coronavirus unless a healthcare professional recommends it.

How To Get Help

If you’re worried you may have COVID-19, you can contact the Utah Coronavirus Information Line at 1-800-456-7707 to speak to trained healthcare professionals. You can also use telehealth services through your healthcare providers.

Additional Resources

If you see evidence of PRICE GOUGING, the Utah Attorney General’s Office wants you to report it. Common items in question include toilet paper, water, hand sanitizer, certain household cleaners, and even cold medicine and baby formula. Authorities are asking anyone who sees price gouging to report it to the Utah Division of Consumer Protection at 801-530-6601 or 800-721-7233. The division can also be reached by email at

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