Summit County health officials issue order regarding masks in elementary schools
SUMMIT COUNTY, Utah — The Summit County Health Director, Dr. Phil Bondurant, has issued a public health order that would require face coverings to be worn in Summit County elementary schools once certain criteria are met.
“Under the order, face-coverings would be required if any individual elementary school campus reaches a two-percent 14-day COVID-19 positivity rate among the total number of students, staff and faculty,” read a press release from the County.
The order will go into effect starting Wednesday.
It does not apply to middle schools or high schools.
“We recognize there are very strong opinions on both sides of the mask discussion,” said Bondurant. “Ultimately, I want to provide the safest, healthiest learning environment in Summit County schools for the upcoming school year while allowing for parental choice.”
Bondurant went on to say, “This approach allows us to actively monitor the situation and provide interventions before an outbreak occurs. In the end, our goal is to help keep kids in school and mitigate the risk of COVID-19 transmission until vaccines become available for children.”
According to the press release, each of Summit County’s six elementary schools will be monitored separately.
“These metrics were determined using the ‘Test to Stay’ program outlined in Utah Senate Bill 107, which would require Summit County schools with 30 active COVID-19 cases over 14 days to implement COVID-19 testing among students for them to return to campus,” the press release continued.
Glenn Wright, the Summit County Council Chair, said the county council supports Dr. Bondurant’s approach, adding that they do not intend to terminate the public health order.
“The Summit County Council is committed to taking any necessary action available to us within the confines of the law to proactively protect students this school year,” he said.
The Summit County Manager’s Office also said they support Dr. Bondurant’s efforts.
Summit County’s order comes one day after Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall issued an emergency order requiring masks in the city’s K-12 schools.
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