Image of the entrance into Park City High School
Park City High School

Masks will not be required in schools when classes begin later this month as Utah schools and the state board of education are banned from requiring them for in-person learning or gathering on school campuses under state law passed in May.


Local schools still plan to contact trace and test to stay, if necessary. 



The Utah Department of Health (UDOH) on Tuesday released recommendations for K-12 schools amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Utah Department of Health recommends local health departments and schools use what it calls a layered prevention approach, including encouraging vaccination and mask-wearing.

According to Dr. Michelle Hofmann, deputy director of the state health department, doing so can help minimize the disruptions of COVID-19 on schools while maximizing opportunities for children to participate in in-person learning and extracurricular activities.

Wikimedia Commons

As COVID-19 continues its surge in Utah this week with over 82% of statewide ICU beds in use, hospital workers are expressing frustration with low vaccination rates among the people getting sick.


The Utah Department of Health announced 728 new statewide COVID-19 infections Tuesday, bringing the state’s rolling seven-day average of new cases to 877 per day, its highest rate since February 15th.


Image of the entrance into Park City High School
Park City High School

Schools will welcome back students on August 19, and masks will be recommended but not required - the  Park City School District can’t require them. 

Last May, the Utah Legislature passed a bill prohibiting schools from requiring mask-wearing.

In a letter published Sunday, Superintendent Jill Gildea said students and school employees will be encouraged to wear face coverings, but not required. The same encouragement applies to all, regardless of vaccination status.

The Latest Developments on COVID and Staying Safe in the Workplace

Jul 29, 2021

On Cool Science Radio, your hosts John Wells and Lynn Ware Peek bring you Josh Fischman, Senior Editor at Scientific American.

Fischman comes on to discuss recent developments on the CDC’s reversal of having vaccinated people wear masks indoors.

These changes of course coming because of the new Delta variant creating a spike in COVID cases.

Also, Fischman reports on why people are still refusing to get vaccinated: noting that a lot of people still don’t think COVID is a serious disease.


Wasatch County has seen a significant rise in COVID-19 cases in July. The county’s current seven-day average for positive cases is over eight per day, up from two at the beginning of the month. The county’s relatively low vaccination rate is also causing concern among local health officials.


Businesses in Wasatch County will remember 2020 as a difficult year — Dallin Koecher, the director of the Heber Valley Chamber of Commerce, says some are still playing catch-up. 


But he also said overall economic growth has been impressive following the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic.


According to Koecher, the local economy is still recovering from the lockdowns of April 2020 when many businesses had to shut their doors.


On today's Local News Hour:

( 03:10) Sean Higgins reports on The Historic Park City Alliance narrowly voting against supporting a city hall proposal to raise parking rates at the popular China Bridge parking garage.

( 05:32) Park City Fire District Chief Paul Hewitt passed away Friday from injuries suffered in an accident during a family vacation.

( 07:13) Wasatch County Health Department Director Jonelle Fitzgerald updates us on COVID spikes and children's vaccines.

( 21:02 ) Heidi Goedhart with UDOT speaks on Active Transportation Plans on State Routes.

( 36:28) Ex. Director of the Park City Extreme Soccer Club Shelly Gillwald has details about the upcoming tournament that starts on Thursday.

On today's Local News Hour:

( 02:49) Mountain Trails Foundations weekly report with Executive Director Lora Smith.

( 06:49 ) Summit County Historian Joe Frazier talks about the history of Pioneer Day in Summit County.

( 14:28) Rick Brough's story about the Intermountain Ski Hall of Fame hosting a special ceremony next month.

( 19:03) Heber City Council approved its plan for an 80-acre redevelopment project around Main Street at a council meeting last night as Ben Lasseter reports.

( 21:27) Heber City Manager Matt Brower Recaps Tuesday's council meeting and the Heber CRA.

( 35:34) Carolyn Murray with an update on COVID-19 numbers in Utah.

( 39:12) Ari Ioannides PC Institute Executive Director joins to talk about Saturday's Justin Moore Concert at the Eccles Center for the Performing Arts.

COVID-19 Case Counts May Constitute Social Restrictions

Jul 21, 2021

COVID-19 cases are on the rise in Utah.

Matt Rourke/Associated Press

While Summit County’s COVID-19 infection rates are faring better than in many other areas of Utah, the county health board still faces the problem of vaccine hesitancy, especially on the rural east side of the county.


The Summit County Health Board on Monday had a lengthy discussion about what’s causing that problem and how to deal with it.


Chairman Chris Cherniak said that on the east side, 70% of residents aged 12 and over have been vaccinated. But he said there are problems with pockets of the population.

On today's Local news Hour:

(08:42) - Chairman of the Snyderville Basin Planning Commission Thomas Cooke has an update from Tuesday's meeting.

(23:20) - Assistant Park City Manager Sarah Pearce and Economic Development Manager Jonathan Weidenhamer has a preview of this week's city council meeting.  (41:16) - Summit County Health Department Monthly Update with incoming Health Deptartment Director Phil Bondurant. 


Summit County Health Director Rich Bullough reported to the Health Board Monday that the county’s COVID-19 numbers are still in good shape though they’re inching up a little amid troubling signs that the pandemic isn’t over.


And given low vaccination numbers on the East Side, one board member is expecting that kids will be going back to school this fall wearing masks.


Health Board Member Doug Evans said he’s discouraged about the prospects for the coming school year, less than two months away.


On Monday, the Utah Department of Health reported that it discovered an error in interpreting vaccine data from several federal agencies, revealing that state vaccination rates are not quite as high as previously reported. 


The agency had said 70.2% of Utah adults have received at least one vaccine dose, but the actual number is 67.07%.


On today's Local news Hour:

( 03:07) Sean Higgins story about a Memorial service held Friday for a Park City man who was killed in a motorized skateboarding accident over the Fourth of July Weekend.

( 06:46) Director of the National Ski Hall of Fame Justin Koski has details about three of this year's inductees – all from the Park City area: Holly Flanders, Hank Tauber and Howard Peterson.

( 20:51) Along with rising temperatures and drought, climate change has another side effect in the Wasatch Back: dust and the poor air quality that comes with it as Sean Higgins reports.

( 23:26) University of Utah Professor Daniel Mendoza has details on a new published study detailing how air quality changed in Park City during the COVID-19 pandemic – and one of his air quality sensors was on the KPCW rooftop.

( 35:24) The Wasatch County Sheriff's Office announced Sunday night that three men were arrested in connection with a 7-year-old, Zaydanielys "Zai" Rodriguez-Irizarry, who was  shot and killed at the Wasatch Commons Apartments Friday night.

(37:28) Park City Education Foundation Ex. Director Abby McNulty has an update on programs offered by the foundation.