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Utah Public Schools Dismissed Through May 1

FILE: A classroom is empty on what would otherwise be a school day as teachers and faculty members learn remote teaching and methods for students at Yung Wing School P.S. 124 in the Manhattan borough of New York City. Public schools in New York City have been shut down until at least until April 1st amid the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — Utah’s K-12 public schools will be dismissed through May 1, state officials announced Monday.

The dismissal is an extension of the two-week soft closure announced by Gov. Gary Herbert on March 13.

“These are unprecedented times in Utah’s and our nation’s history,” Herbert said. “I have been overwhelmed with Utahns’ outpouring of support for one another, and nowhere has this been more evident than in the way our educators are supporting Utah students and families.”

Distance learning will continue during the extended dismissal where feasible and employees will be limited at school buildings, following guidelines to avoid gatherings of 10+ people.

“We recognize that being away from school creates additional work and stress for everyone in our communities; however, it is a necessary step in stopping the spread of COVID-19,” said State Superintendent Sydnee Dickson. “During the uncertainties of the coming weeks, it is more important than ever to remain socially connected with our students and families while doing our best to ensure learning continues. The flexibility and initiative of our educators is a shining example of how we rise together in challenging circumstances.”

Meal services at K-12 public schools will continue on an as-needed basis. An interactive map of emergency meals available for children can be found here.

Additionally, Utah’s technical colleges will temporarily cease instruction and coursework beginning next Monday through May 1.

Higher education campuses had previously moved to online learning, but officials said the hands-on nature of technical college coursework meant online-only models were not widely feasible for students.

“The COVID-19 Task Force, Utah Department of Health and Governor Herbert will continue to monitor and assess the risks, and respond accordingly in conjunction with Utah’s school officials,” state officials said. “All of our schools play an important role in protecting our communities from the growing spread of coronavirus/COVID-19.”

More information about school closures can be found at the Utah State Board of Education’s website.


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 consumerprotection@utah.gov.

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