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Gov. Herbert: Salt Lake City School District can offer in-person classes

SALT LAKE CITY – Utah Gov. Gary Herbert will allow all schools in Orange COVID-19 risk areas to offer in-person classes if they wish to when class begin again in the fall.

The new guidelines announced Thursday mostly affect the Salt Lake City School District. But it’s still not known what the district will do.

In a news conference announcing the change, Gov. Herbert made clear that this new choice is an option and not a mandate.

“The intent is to give our parents and our students choices as far as what they have available, to make sure that everybody has access to a good education this coming school year,” Herbert said. 

The governor said he expects some schools will continue to be online-only, while others may have a mix of online and in-person classes. He also thinks some parents will keep homeschooling their children.

SLC district reaction

When asked for comment the Salt Lake City School District told KSL Newsradio they’re not compelled to reopen fully just because of Gov. Herbert’s announcement.

“The guidance we got from the Governor, it doesn’t compel us to open schools fully,” said spokeswoman Yandry Chatwin. “It just gives us the option to do that.

“We still want to take into account the feedback we got from our parents, who let us know they’re not necessarily feeling super comfortable with a return to normalcy.

Chatwin says they will continue to take into account the risk level of Salt Lake City, which currently is at Orange. The district will revisit their current plan to have children in school some days and at home on other days, once they receive exact language from the governor about safety requirements.

Utah school districts have until August 1st to solidify their plans.

The state will help out in at least one area if children go back to class on campus.

“Masks will be provided to all the students, so they will have access to face coverings when they come to school,” Herbert said.

Herbert also encouraged schools to cut kids some slack in their coursework if they get sick because of COVID-19 and cannot come to class.

How To Prevent the Spread of COVID-19Coronavirus

COVID-19 coronavirus is transmitted from person to person. It is a virus that is similar to the common cold and the flu. So, to prevent it from spreading:

  • Wash hands frequently and thoroughly, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds.
  • Don’t touch your face.
  • Keep children and those with compromised immune systems away from someone who is coughing or sneezing (in this instance, at least six feet)
  • If there is an outbreak near you, practice social distancing (stay at home, instead of going to the movies, sports events, or other activities.)
  • Get a flu shot.

Local resources

KSL Coronavirus Q&A

Utah’s Coronavirus Information

UtahState Board of Education

Utah Hospital Association

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Utah Coronavirus Information Line – 1-800-456-7707

National Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Commonly asked questions, World Health Organization

Cases in the United States