COVID test to return program offered by Park City School District
As COVID-19 surges in Summit County, the Park City School District holds daily, early morning testing for students and staff.
Each day this week, from 7:15 to 9:15 am, you can find a group of school district administrators operating two testing stations at the Eccles Center lobby at the high school and Ecker Hill Middle School.
Park City High School Principal Roger Arbabi said before the holiday break, the administration anticipated a surge once students returned to school. School employees have been trained in testing and reporting protocols, and he feels like they've successfully kept some cases of COVID out of schools.
"Because we caught a lot of students before they got to school, on Monday and then some on Tuesday. Because they weren’t on campus for more than 14 days due to the holiday break, students testing positive as soon as they get back to school don't count towards the number of cases required to trigger the state 'test to stay' program.
Arbabi declined to say how many people had tested positive this week.
The January 5th school dashboard report shows Park City High School with 58 active COVID cases, 18 more than Tuesday’s count.
Treasure Mountain Junior High has 25 active cases.
Parent Monique Beeley has a child at Ecker Hill Middle School. Mom has symptoms and wants a COVID test before sending her daughter back to school.
"Both my ex-husband and I feel sick. My daughter goes back and forth, and she doesn't feel sick, but I'm not going to send her to school until both of us get tested. With the holidays, it's hard to tell. So, you talk to people outside without a mask. I mean, I feel like you just don't know like, you know, if I'm standing closer you know, I feel kind of safe outside, but you don't know."
One parent said her children are not vaccinated, and they've been the target of bullying. She said she and her kids get shamed because of their choice not to get the vaccine or wear masks at school. For her, the risk of taking a vaccine outweighs the risk of getting COVID. She is new to town and declined to give her name due to the shaming and isolation, she said they have experienced resulting from their decision to remain unvaccinated.
Her child must have a negative test to go back to training with his sports team.
Sarah Kerr has a Treasure Mountain student who was exposed in class on Wednesday, and he is going out of town. She said she would support a mask mandate and the implementation of a 'test to stay' requirement.
"I'm not really afraid for the kid's safety, as far as you know, the mortality rate. I'm more just concerned that there's an uptick in hospitalizations and people that are vulnerable, we should probably be protecting them. So, I am okay with a mask mandate. I actually think that'd be a lovely idea. Just to keep everyone safe and to decrease the spread, and I'm fine with the test to say I think that's good too."
On Thursday, Utah reported 9,000 new COVID cases with test sites inundated, severe staff shortages, and diminishing available hospital beds.
Summit County reports 194 new cases of residents only. Visitors to the area do not get counted in the county's active case counts.