Just days after the school year began, six Carbon High School teachers are in quarantine after one tested positive for COVID-19.
“This could sound like things didn’t go right, because we have teachers in quarantine. But really it went according to plan: as soon as symptoms started, they stayed home,” said Bradon Bradford, health director of the Southeast Utah Health Department.
Schools in the Carbon County School District reopened on Aug. 19; the quarantines were announced on Aug. 21, as first reported by ETV News.
The teacher who tested positive had not come into contact with students but reportedly had lunch with other staff the Price, Utah, high school.
The Southeast Utah Health Department has helped school districts in its tri-county jurisdiction, which includes Grand County, put their reopening plans together and aids in contact tracing after any potential exposure.
“By staying home and following the guidelines, these teachers prevented many more people from being exposed and having to be quarantined,” said Bradford.
He said that both the school districts and the health department will collaborate on contact tracing in such cases, assessing the potential exposure risks rather than placing a whole class in quarantine.
Bradford said that flexibility and an awareness of changing guidelines is the main thing he is emphasizing as schools reopening.
“The first phase of our plan was really ramping up communication with school districts, to make sure everyone knows who the point of contact is and who to call. That’s gone really well,” he said.
The Grand County School District delayed the first day of classes until Sept. 8 and released reopening plans that include how the district plans to handle COVID-19 exposure within the schools.