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Park City High School employees falling sick in droves

 Park City High School
Park City School District
Park City High School

Cases of COVID are on the rise throughout Park City schools, and the high school has been hit particularly hard.

Park City High School had 81 active cases of COVID on campus last Thursday night, and Friday morning it became apparent that a portion of those were teachers and administrators.

A school district employee told KPCW that 16 PCHS teachers and administrators were out sick, nearly a quarter of the educational staff. Some were sick with confirmed cases of COVID while others were at home waiting for test results after being exposed.

Teachers said those who were at school were filling in and covering their colleagues’ classes during their prep periods. Like other employers with staffing woes, the district is still grappling with a shortage of substitute teachers.

Case count dashboards for campuses are updated each night at 6 p.m. On Friday night the high school had 109 cases. Employees said the just-launched test to stay event had detected dozens more cases of COVID Friday morning in students and staff.

Treasure Mountain Junior High had 29 active cases Thursday night, just one below the threshold that triggers Utah’s statewide test to stay program. Principal Caleb Fine emailed families Friday asking them to sign consent forms in anticipation of test to stay beginning on that campus before long. By Friday night, Treasure Mountain was at 33 cases.

Ecker Hill Middle School had 31 active cases Friday night. The district’s elementary schools were each under 30 active cases but Jeremy Ranch at 25 cases was nearing the test to stay protocol.

Parental consent is required for test to stay, but students whose parents don’t consent won’t be allowed to remain at school. They’ll have to stay at home for 10 days or until they provide a negative test result.

Students who miss testing events at school can get tested through another health care provider. All test results are logged with Utah Department of Health.

In accordance with state law, teachers and staff aren’t required to participate, but can if they choose.