SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah (ABC4 News) – The Salt Lake County Department of Health recently launched a COVID-19 tracker to show the community how many confirmed cases there are in each school district and whether or not a single school has any.
“The purpose of putting this out there is so parents can be educated,” said county epidemiologist Annie George.
With the school now back in session, George said public health officials expected there to be a few cases of COVID-19.
“We knew we would probably see an increase. It was remarkable, “said George.” But the other thing to consider is Labor Day weekend, where we always see peaks after the holidays. “
The dashboard reports that 336 people in Salt Lake County schools have tested positive for the respiratory virus in the past 1
The county health department only reports when a school has reached the state threshold – of 15 or more cases – by recommending the school’s move to online learning.
When one person – or more people – within a school tests positive, George said a school connection alerts the health department. From there, the contact trackers call those who tested positive to find out where they have been and who they have been in contact with for the past few days.
He said this effort also involves helping the district identify those a person may have been out and about in school.
“It gets a little tricky in a high school where kids are in a lot of different classrooms throughout the day, and in some classes there are assigned seating, and some aren’t,” George said. “And we tried to encourage him to help with that.”
If a person has been in close contact with a positive person for more than 15 minutes and less than six feet away, George said he was warned.
Once all those affected are identified, George said the district is responsible for deciding what happens next.