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Davis Journal

District’s COVID protocols changing as school starts

Aug 04, 2022 10:12AM ● By Becky Ginos

FARMINGTON—When students in the Davis School District head back to class on Aug. 22, they’ll see some changes in the way COVID is handled. From being shut down completely in the spring of 2020 to a hybrid schedule that fall with a mask mandate, teachers and administrators were constantly pivoting as things changed day by day. As the new school year begins changes are still coming.

Assistant Superintendent John Zurbuchen gave an update on the district’s COVID response for the 2022/23 year to the school board at Tuesday night’s meeting.

 “COVID is still with us,” he said. “The Davis County Health Department (DCHD) has given us $900,000 for one full-time nurse and 10 half-time COVID-19 aides that will travel to different schools as needed. We’ll also buy two years worth of HEPA filter replacements for our portable air cleaners. We’re grateful for the county commission and DCHD for making it possible to provide this service.”

As before, there will be daily updates on active COVID cases in a 10 day window (Monday – Friday) on the district’s dashboard. “School letters will be sent out when active cases are identified by the health department,” said Zurbuchen. “We will also provide consultation with and support for parents/guardians and staff with active cases.”

There will be no mask mandates and no thresholds, he said. “When there is a positive case we will recommend that a child stay home, etc. but we will let the family make an informed health decision. There won’t be any enforcement. We will not deny access to school.”

Zurbuchen said there will be no contact tracing or mandatory testing. “We’ll offer optional Rapid Antigen testing before and after school.”

Some parents may prefer not to send their child to school when there is a positive case, he said. “If they choose to keep them home we will continue to deliver learning materials through our online system like we did before so that when they come back they’re caught up and they don’t have to do a bunch of makeup work.”

The district is following the policies set up by the legislature, said Zurbuchen. “This is governed by that body. It’s not us who make these decisions.” λ