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A West Jordan high school is suspending classes on Tuesday after health officials Monday confirmed more than 15 coronavirus cases at the school.
Copper Hills High School was to undergo a “deep cleaning and thorough disinfecting” on Tuesday after health officials identified 16 cases among students or employees at the school, Jordan School District officials posted Monday on the school’s website and Facebook page.
“More information regarding any further potential changes to Copper Hills High School schedule will be forthcoming,” school officials wrote.
Since fall term began, it is the second school in the district to close temporarily due to coronavirus outbreaks, and the sixth school in the county to exceed 15 coronavirus cases within any two-week period — the threshold at which state health officials recommend that schools close for two weeks.
But only two of the six schools have followed that guidance — a Draper charter school and the Canyons School District’s Corner Canyon High School in Draper, where a teacher has been hospitalized and 90 cases were reported as of Monday. There were 600 Corner Canyon students and employees under quarantine orders as of Monday, according to data from the district.
Another Jordan District high school, Riverton High School, closed two days for cleaning last week after it surpassed 15 active cases. The school reopened this week despite exceeding 15 cases, Salt Lake County health officials reported; county data show only whether a school is above or below 15 cases.
Meanwhile, two Canyons district high schools have remained open for classes despite exceeding 15 cases. Brighton High School reported 23 cases, and Alta High School reported 20 as of Monday.
In Utah County, Timpanogos High School shifted this week to a “hybrid” schedule of online and in-person classes after an increase in cases there. The Alpine School District has not disclosed the number of cases among students and employees at that school, but reported on Monday that 97 students and 40 employees throughout the district — Utah’s largest public school district — had been diagnosed within the past two weeks.
In August, not long after classes began, Pleasant Grove High School also moved to a hybrid schedule for two weeks after a cluster of cases broke out in the Alpine District school.
As Utah experiences an unprecedented surge in coronavirus cases, Utah’s teachers union has called on Gov. Gary Herbert to enforce state recommendations to close schools with 15 active cases. Other elected officials have asked him to impose a statewide mask mandate. As of Tuesday morning, only a handful of local governments in Utah had implemented mask orders, and statewide mask requirements were in place only at government buildings and in schools.
Herbert’s spokesperson has said he would announce any policy changes on Tuesday at the earliest.
A New York Times analysis of the prevalence and spread of coronavirus in each state ranked Utah’s outbreak as seventh worst as of Tuesday morning. The state was averaging 847 new cases per day as of Monday — Utah’s highest weeklong average since the beginning of the pandemic.
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