A Message About Our COVID-19 Mitigation Plans
Update on August 19, 2021:
Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall has issued an emergency order requiring that masks be worn in K-12 schools in Salt Lake City. The order requires all staff, visitors, members of the public, teachers, and students attending kindergarten through grade 12 at a public, charter, or private school in Salt Lake City, to wear a face mask when in any indoor area of the premises, on school-provided transportation, or attending an indoor school-sponsored activity, or outdoors on school premises when social distancing is not possible.
Please be aware that in order for you to comply with the mayor’s order, masks must now be worn in schools and on school buses.
Dear Salt Lake City School District families and students,
As we plan for the start of the 2021–22 school year and for back to school or registration events on our school campuses, we have put together COVID-19 mitigation recommendations that will be in place in our schools for the 2021-22 school year. This guidance has been drafted based on the latest research and guidance available from the Utah Department of Health, American Academy of Pediatrics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), CDC Science Brief: Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in K-12 Schools, and CDC Interim Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People.
The health and safety of our students and employees continue to be our number one priority, and we remain committed to making evidence-based decisions to protect our students and staff.
Below is a quick summary of our recommendations on vaccination and mask-wearing. You can find more detailed information and the rest of our COVID-19 mitigation plan (including information on student meals, remote learning, school bus protocols, etc.) on our district website.
- The District encourages all individuals age 12 and older to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
To help ensure a safe, in-person learning and social environment, the Salt Lake County Health Department strongly recommends that everyone eligible (currently people 12 years and older) be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before the school year begins.
The District supports this recommendation and is partnering with the Salt Lake County Health Department to provide COVID-19 vaccination clinics for our families and the community at large. Details for the vaccination clinics can be found on our website. For families with children too young to be vaccinated yet, everyone eligible around them needs to be vaccinated.
If you have not already been vaccinated against COVID-19 and are eligible, we strongly encourage you to follow the advice of our community's medical and scientific experts to protect yourself, your family, and our school communities from the pandemic by getting vaccinated. You are welcome to attend any of our school vaccination clinics or you can contact the Salt Lake County Health Department at 385-468-7468 or visit ThisIsOurShot.com.
- The use of face coverings is strongly recommended and encouraged for Salt Lake City School District employees, students, and visitors while indoors or while riding a school bus.
This recommendation is based on data and input from the Salt Lake County Health Department, the Utah Department of Health, the CDC, and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
- CDC recommends: “universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and school visitors (including parents) to schools, regardless of vaccination status.”
- AAP: “all eligible individuals should receive the COVID-19 vaccine, and all students older than 2 years and all school staff should wear face masks at school (unless medical or developmental conditions prohibit use).”
Masks will be provided to any employee or student who would like one. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) will be provided to staff, including masks (in some cases medical-grade, depending on the role), face shields, gloves, and sanitizer.
The decision to wear or not wear a mask by students and employees will be respected. Students and employees will not be asked if they have been vaccinated unless needed as part of contact tracing and quarantine efforts.
- The District strongly encourages visitors and parents to wear masks when inside our schools and to schedule appointments, if possible.
Our detailed COVID-19 Mitigation Plan can be found on the district website. Remember, "it takes a village" to ensure the safety of our staff and students. I want to thank you for joining us in this effort to keep our school communities safe by getting vaccinated if you haven’t already done so and wearing a mask when visiting our schools.
If you have questions about this guidance, do not hesitate to reach out to me.
Timothy Gadson III, Ph.D.
Salt Lake City School District