UDOH: COVID-19 Tracking System For Utah Schools Almost Ready

Sep 4, 2020, 6:55 PM | Updated: 8:18 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — The Utah Department of Health is preparing to launch a COVID-19 tracking system to get consistent, accurate information about coronavirus cases in Utah schools and provide transparency for parents.

It’s no surprise that COVID-19 cases are popping up and sending exposed students home for a mandatory 14-day quarantine as all Utah schools are back in session, with the exception of Salt Lake City School District, which will start Monday 100% online.

One major frustration for parents has been the inconsistency of the release of information.

Granite School District officials sent parents a full report Friday about cases in their schools just one day after the Jordan School District sent a mass email to parents.

Many districts say they are anxiously awaiting a new “dashboard,” nearly ready for release from the state health department.

The tool is expected to get consistent and accurate information about COVID-19 in schools across the state.

UDOH spokesperson Tom Hudachko said the system is in the testing stage and should be ready in a few weeks.

“The next thing we want to do is work with our partners in education and local health departments to make sure what we push out to the public is good, transparent data and is accurate,” said Hudachko.

The new system doesn’t mean parents will have access to the information.

Districts aren’t required to use it and, even if they do, they don’t have to release the data.

Nebo School District officials haven’t released any information, and the dashboard likely won’t change that.

“Because we have such low numbers, we realize we don’t want to give those numbers out because it would be so identifiable in our schools,” said Lana Hickey, spokesperson for the Nebo School District.

And that decision lies with the districts, not the state department of health.

“You’ve seen some districts reporting at the district level, some at the school level, and there is nothing from the health department that would tell a district they can or can’t do one of those things,” Hudachko said.
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UDOH: COVID-19 Tracking System For Utah Schools Almost Ready