Utah teachers association says schools are not complying with COVID-19 recommendations

Photo illustration of backpack of school child with face mask and sanitizer. | Photo by FamVeld, iStock/Getty Images Plus, St. George News

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Education Association Friday fired off two letters, one to Governor Gary Herbert and one to the State Board of Education, calling for changes in how state leaders and local health departments oversee school district safety plans.

Undated photo of group of children with face masks back at school after COVID-19 quarantine and lockdown. | Photo by
Halfpoint, iStock/Getty Images Plus, St. George News

“On behalf of Utah educators, the Utah Education Association calls on you to increase state oversight and compliance measures to protect the health and safety of public school students, educators and school staff,” the letter to Governor Herbert reads according to Fox13Now.com.

Utah Education Association President Heidi Matthews said they’re realizing that safety measures districts and schools have put into place have not been adhered to.

“We have unnecessarily put our teachers, our educators at risk,” she said.

The letters came on the day the Canyons School Board called a special meeting after more than 500 people were quarantined and a teacher with COVID-19 was placed on a ventilator.

The UEA is asking for state and local health departments to step in to make sure districts follow their plans, and take action like telling a school it’s time to shut down if cases spike.

In related news, on Saturday, the day it was set to expire, Herbert extended Utah’s state of emergency that has been in place since March 6 through Oct. 20 as the state had its second day with more than 1,000 new coronavirus infections, according to the Utah Department of Health. It includes provisions to allow restaurants and bars to maintain expiring Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control licenses if they are temporarily closed by a move back to the red coronavirus risk level.

Locally, Washington County reported its 25th death from the virus since the pandemic started in March, a 45- to 64-year-old who was hospitalized at the time. It was the first coronavirus-related fatality in Southern Utah since Sept. 4.

Read the full story here:  Fox13Now.com

Written by LAUREN STEINBRECHER, Fox13Now.com

St. George News Weekend Editor/reporter Chris Reed contributed to this story.

COVID-19 information resources

St. George News has made every effort to ensure the information in this story is accurate at the time it was written. However, as the situation and science surrounding the coronavirus continues to evolve, it’s possible that some data has changed.

We invite you to check the resources below for up-to-date information and resources.

Southern Utah coronavirus count (as of Sept. 19, 2020, seven-day average in parentheses)

Positive COVID-19 tests: 3,926 (22.9 new infections per day in seven days, rising)

  • Washington County: 3,065 (19.6 per day, rising)
  • Iron County: 706 (2.9 per day, rising)
  • Kane County: 74 (0.1 per day, falling)
  • Garfield County: 46 (0 per day, steady) 
  • Beaver County: 35 (0.3 per day, falling) 

Deaths: 30 (0.1 per day, rising)

  • Washington County: 25 (1 new, a Washington County man between 45-64 years of age)
  • Iron County: 2
  • Garfield County: 2
  • Kane County: 1

Hospitalized: 9 (rising)

Recovered: 3,560

Current Utah seven-day average: 726 (rising)

Copyright 2019, KSTU. A Tribune broadcasting station

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