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COVID-19 testing underway at Elk Ridge Middle School following outbreak

COVID-19 testing is set to begin at Elk Ridge Middle School in South Jordan following dozens of positive cases in the past two weeks. (PHOTO: KSL Newsradio's John Wojcik)

SOUTH JORDAN, Utah — COVID-19 testing is ongoing at Elk Ridge Middle School in South Jordan following dozens of positive cases in the past two weeks.

COVID-19 testing happening at a South Jordan school

A mobile testing lab arrived Friday afternoon from the Salt Lake County Health Department, so students have the opportunity to get tested from 3-7 p.m. According to officials with the Jordan School District, testing will extend into next week.

“We’ll also be doing testing next week as well. We have to hit a 60% threshold of students getting tested with the Test to Stay,” said Doug Flagler, communications specialist with the Jordan School District.

As of Friday afternoon, the Jordan School District online COVID-19 dashboard indicated Elk Ridge Middle School has 32 active cases. Additionally, 18 people from the school are in quarantine. 

Flagler said those numbers can shift day-to-day, meaning it’s hard to predict if there will be a significant impact on in-person class attendance.

“Every day, those numbers change where we have cases fall off and new ones are added, so it’s hard to predict what tomorrow or the day after will bring,” Flagler said.

Transitioning into ‘Test to Stay’ protocols 

 The state of Utah’s “Test to Stay” protocols require any school larger than 1,500 students to test a majority of their student body when more than 2% of the school population tests positive for COVID-19 in a 14-day period.

Reaching that 2% threshold can largely depend on a school’s population. For example, Herriman High School currently has 33 active cases, although due to their size, that isn’t enough to reach the 2% threshold.

Speaking earlier this week, State Epidemiologist Dr. Angela Dunn said COVID-19 outbreaks in the state are largely being attributed to variant strains of the coronavirus. Additionally, she said many of the outbreaks are taking place in populations that are currently ineligible to be vaccinated.