Straining schools seek assistance with test-to-stay procedures

Jan 12, 2022, 7:23 PM | Updated: Jun 8, 2022, 6:40 pm

Right now, they’re turning to the Utah Department of Health to take over as several more of those testing events are expected in the coming days.

“So we are definitely not going to be able to keep up with this,” Mary Hill said. “The testing lines are out of control and we don’t have the capacity that we did, unfortunately.

Mary Hill, manager of the epidemiology bureau at the Salt Lake County Department of Health, says with so many schools reaching the test-to-stay threshold, supplies and staff are being stretched thin.

“We really want to prioritize those who are highest risk,” Hill said. “Which would be those in long-term care facilities, those in hospitals. And so we would like to see testing for that.”

Five of these testing events have already taken place at high shools in Salt Lake County alone. Those happened at Skyline, Riverton, Herriman, Cottonwood and Viewmont.

Two more are set for tomorrow at Copper Hills and Olympus, and there’s this list of nine  other high schools that still need test-to-stay events, according to state law: Alta, Brighton Corner Canyon, Hillcrest, Jordan, Bingham, West Jordan, East, and Highland.

KSL has been informed that Davis School District will hold test-to-stay events at Woods Cross and Layton High Schools tomorrow… another one at Davis High on Friday.

“I can tell you this is going to have an impact on schools,” Ben Horsley, spokesperson for the Granite School District said. “When you’re sending home over 200 students in a day, and not including the few hundred students who just didn’t participate in testing at all.”

Horsley says it’s all taking a toll right at the end of the term.

“That puts undue burden on the families and it puts undue burdens on our teachers. So we’re just asking people to be patient,” he said.

Other districts are facing those same challenges. The testing event at Viewmont High in Davis County Wednesday found nearly 150 additional cases.

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Straining schools seek assistance with test-to-stay procedures