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Friday, 18 December 2020 13:28

Covid News Update

Modifications to current health guidelines were announced this morning by the governor and the Utah Department of Health. These guidelines go into effect on January 4, 2021, when we return from winter break. In summary:

  • The current public health orders will be extended through January, 21, 2021. This includes the mask mandate.

  • In-school exposures. If an individual is exposed to someone with COVID-19 in the school environment, and both individuals are wearing masks during the period of exposure, the person exposed is no longer required to quarantine. Contract tracing will still be conducted. Parents will need to monitor their students for symptoms for the 14 days following an exposure, and keep them home if they are sick. If it can't be verified that both individuals were wearing masks, then the person exposed will need to follow current quarantine procedures.

  • Teachers are able to get tested on a weekly basis upon request, or they can elect to be tested as part of "Test to Play." 

  • The governor indicated that vaccinations for teachers should be available by mid-January. There is a tentative schedule on the state's website.

  • The case threshold for closing has been modified for schools with over 1500 students. The new threshold is now 1% of the student population, instead of 15 cases. For example, the threshold for Fremont will move to 20 cases, Roy 18 cases and Weber 20 cases. All other schools will remain at 15 cases.

  • The "rule of three" (Three individuals testing positive in the same classroom within a two-week period) will only apply to elementary schools. Classes in secondary will no longer be quarantined when there are three or more cases in one classroom.

  • "Test to Stay." When the case threshold is met, a school has the option of moving online for 10 days, or testing all of its students. Students who test negative will be allowed to continue with in-person instruction. Students who test positive or don't test, will move to virtual learning for 10 days. Positive cases identified in this testing will not count toward the threshold to close.

  • Targeted testing in certain communities will be available after the holidays.

  • "Test to Play" will remain in effect. About 12,000 tests have been administered throughout the state with a positivity rate of 1.6%

For more information, please visit:

https://www.pbsutah.org/live-daily-updates-covid-19-utah

https://coronavirus.utah.gov/

https://coronavirus.utah.gov/education/school-manual/

Monday, 14 December 2020 15:38

Audit Committee

The District’s independent auditor uses the District’s audit committee to communicate certain matters to upper management and the Board. The audit committee includes three members of the Board, the District superintendent, and the business administrator. The three members of the Board report audit findings and other financial considerations to the Board. The Board is responsible for the oversight of the financial reporting process.

Audit Committee Members

Jon Ritchie - President, Weber Board of Education; Audit Committee Chair
Douglas Hurst - Member, Weber Board of Education; Audit Committee Member
Paul Widdison - Member, Weber Board of Education; Audit Committee Member

Monday, 14 December 2020 12:42

Covid-19 Testing

Press Release

"COVID-19 Testing"

December 11, 2020

Following the mandates outlined in the State Public Health issued on December 8, 2020, Weber School District began testing students and staff for COVID-19 this week. The testing involves individuals who are participating in extracurricular activities. This includes winter sports, band, cheer, drill, choir, and theater.

Testing teams, which include administrators, nurses, and other school personnel, were organized at each of our four main high schools. The teams are administering the BinaxNOW COVID-19 rapid test that provides results within 15 minutes.

Testing was conducted at Bonneville High School and Fremont High School on Thursday, December 10, 2020. Testing took place today (December 11, 2020) at Roy High School and Weber High School. In order to protect privacy, the district does not release specific information about individuals who test positive, or information that may lead to person being identified. Below are the test results:

School

# of individuals tested

# of positive test results

Positivity Rate

Bonneville

259

13

5.0%

Fremont

403

3

Less than 1%

Roy

245

2

Less than 1%

Weber

180

2

1.1%

Total

1089

20

1.8%

The 13 positive cases at Bonneville were spread across multiple groups. The school has quarantined the wrestling team after multiple individuals associated with the team tested positive. Bonneville entered a period of soft closure on Tuesday, December 8, after an outbreak of COVID-19 occurred at the school. After Thursday’s testing, there are 35 active cases of COVID-19 at the school. In-person instruction is scheduled to resume on Monday, January 4, 2021.

The three positive tests at Fremont were all associated with individuals who had previously tested positive and had been cleared to return to school. Fremont recently returned from soft closure on December 3, after being online for a period of two weeks. Currently, there are seven active cases at the school after returning from soft closure.

Out of 245 individuals tested at Roy High, only two tested positive. Roy High returned from its second soft closure on Monday, December 7. Currently, there are two active cases at the school.

180 individuals were tested at Weber High, resulting in two positive cases. The wrestling team has been quarantined for two weeks. Weber High has been experiencing a high number of cases over the past week or so. This afternoon, they surpassed the threshold of 15 positive cases within a 14-day period. Currently, there are 19 active cases and the school will transition online for two weeks beginning Monday, December 14.  In-person instruction is scheduled to resume on Monday, January 4, 2021.

Testing of individuals this week for participation in extracurricular activities did not have a significant impact on the overall case counts at each high school, and did not affect the decision to close any schools. The overall positivity rate from the testing was just 1.8%

Attached are some photos of the testing that was conducted at Bonneville. You have permission to use these photos. In the photo of the student being testing, please reference to the following information: "Jordan Citte, a senior at Bonneville High School, is tested for COVID-19 by Lisa Phelps, the head nurse at the school."

Weber School District will continue to test students and staff every two weeks according to state guidelines.

https://coronavirus-download.utah.gov/Health/UPHO-2020-26-Updated-Statewide-COVID-19-Restrictions.pdf

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Thursday, 22 October 2020 12:20

Low Risk Test And Return

Low Risk Test and Return

A student, teacher, or staff member who was exposed at school to someone who tested positive for COVID-19 may return to work at a school or in-person learning if he or she meets ALL of the following:  

  1. The school verifies the student, teacher or staff member who was exposed and the person who tested positive were both wearing a face mask as defined by the State Public Health Order on masks in schools. 
  2. The quarantined student, teacher, or staff member has a negative COVID-19 test result (must be a PCR or antigen test, not an antibody test). The test result must be from at least 7 days after the last exposure to the person who tested positive. 
  3. The student, teacher, or staff member does not have symptoms of COVID-19.

The Low Risk Test and Return protocol does not apply to students, teachers, staff, or settings that are exempt from the State Public Health Order on masks in schools. 

If the student, teacher, or staff member who was exposed meets ALL three criteria he or she may return to work, school or related activities, if the employee or the parents of the student choose. If the person does not meet ALL three criteria or chooses not to get tested, he or she should quarantine at home for 14 days from the last day of exposure. 

Anyone who has been exposed to COVID-19 and comes back to school must continue to watch for symptoms. If employees or students get symptoms, they should isolate at home and call their healthcare provider.

These guidelines only apply to exposures that occur at school. 

Thursday, 22 October 2020 12:16

New Quarantine Guidelines

On 10/8/2020, State Superintendent Dickson announced the following recommended adjustments to the state's quarantine guidelines. This new guidance is exclusive to exposures occurring at school. 

According to the new guidelines, "A student, teacher or staff member who was exposed at school to someone who tested positive for COVID-19 may return to work at school or in-person learning if he or she meets ALL of the following:

  1. The school verifies the student, teacher or staff member who was exposed and the person who tested positive were both wearing a face mask as defined by the State Public Health Order on masks in schools.
  2. The quarantined students, teacher or staff member has a negative COVID-19 test result (must be a PCR or antigen test, not an antibody test). The test result must be from at least 7 days after the last exposure to the person who tested positive.
  3. The student, teacher, or staff member does not have symptoms of COVID-19."

It's important to note, this only applies to exposures that occur at school. Community, social, household and other types of exposures are still subject to the 14-day quarantine requirement.

Weber School District will begin following the state's new guidelines beginning Monday, November 2, 2020 (The start of 2nd term). The guidance does not apply to staff and students who are currently in quarantine.

It will be the responsibility of a student's parents to complete certain steps before a student will be considered eligible to return to school under these new guidelines. This includes completing all necessary paperwork, having their child tested, and submitting required documentation to the school's Point of Contact (POC). Testing will need to be done at an approved testing site since the district does not administer COVID-19 tests. 

As a reminder, if it can't be verified that the student, teacher or staff member who was exposed and the person who tested positive were both wearing a face mask during the exposure, the quarantine period will not be adjusted and will remain at 14 days.  

Although there may be times when masks aren't required under the public health order like during lunch, recess, PE, sporting events or other extracurricular activities, any student who is identified as potentially exposed in these situations where masks aren't being worn, will not be eligible to return early from the 14-day quarantine period. 

The district is in the process of hiring additional Point of Contacts (POCs), to assist our school nurses with the contact tracing process. Many of these new POCs should be place by November 2nd. This is part of the reason for the delay in implementing the proposed changes.

If a student, teacher or staff member is identified as potentially being exposed to someone with COVID-19 in the school environment, they will be contacted by a representative from the school who will inform them of the quarantine requirements, including the criteria outlined above.

Thursday, 22 October 2020 12:14

State Superintendent Letter

Colleagues,

At the request of many of our School Superintendents and Charter Directors, a school medical advisory group met and recommended adjustments to the 14 day quarantine.  The Utah Dept. of Health, under the direction of Governor Herbert, has approved the attached Low Risk Test and Return guidance.  The medical experts on the advisory group indicate that this aligns with the best medical practice of adjusting the intensity of intervention based on risk and consequences of overprescribing an intervention.  Key points aligned with this practice are:

  • Masks are effective at preventing transmission in classroom settings
  • This only applies to mask on mask exposure
  • Only applies to exposures that occurred in school
  • % of individuals who will develop symptoms do so on: 
    • Day 7 -75%, 
    • Day 9 - 90% 
    • Day 11- 95%
    • Testing picks up positive cases two days before symptoms onset; therefore, testing on day 7 means there is less than a 10% chance that an individual will contract after day 7
  • This is for individual exposures, and does not pertain to the threshold recommendations for classroom or school virtual learning

Your local health officers were instrumental in crafting and supporting this update and are ready and willing to assist. The Rapid tests (Abbot BinaxNOW) are still being distributed and your LHO will likely be the best source to know when and where the tests can be accessed.  The COVID-19 School Manual will be updated to reflect this change but the change takes effect immediately. 

We hope this updated guidance will both be an incentive for improved classroom mask wearing behaviors and expedite students getting back into school safely.

With appreciation for your leadership during this challenging time,

Sydnee Dickson, Ed.D.
State Superintendent of Public Instruction
250 E. 500 S.
PO Box 144200
Salt Lake City, UT 84114-4200
(801) 538-7510 W

Tuesday, 13 October 2020 11:12

Videos

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Tuesday, 13 October 2020 11:12

Resources

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