BOX ELDER COUNTY – By Cari Doutre – November 13, 2020
Box Elder High School in Brigham City is the first school in Box Elder School District that has suspended in-person classes after a recent surge in COVID-19 cases in Utah.
On Thursday, Nov. 12, Box Elder High made an announcement stating that starting Nov. 16 through Nov. 24, students will move to online, or virtual, learning instead of in-person classes on campus.
Rumors circulating in the Bear River Valley community that Bear River High School is also making the transition to online learning only are not true - as verified by BRVNEWS.com.
The following statement was posted on Box Elder High’s website on Nov. 12, 2020.
Moving to Online Learning Nov 16-24
November 12, 2020
Box Elder High School Shift to Virtual Learning (Monday November 16 through Tuesday November 24th)
In working with the Bear River Health Department (BRHD) there has been a determination that there is a significant upward trend in the number of positive covid cases At Box Elder High School. With that knowledge and in receiving guidance from BRHD the Box Elder Leadership Team has determined we need to shift Box Elder High School to virtual learning starting Monday November 16th. This will give teachers the chance to work with children tomorrow Friday November 13th to make sure the students know what they will need to do during this virtual learning period. This virtual learning period will last until Tuesday November 24th. Students will return to in person learning on Monday November 30th with the current one hour late start time.
During this two week shift to virtual learning we implore the students, parents, teachers and the community to help us mitigate the spread of the covid virus. Please follow Governor Herbert’s mask mandate. Please follow the Governor’s mandate to avoid social gatherings. We are concerned about our high school students who will be out of school and still meeting together socially and not allowing for a mitigation to the spread of the virus. Please be vigilant in giving us a chance to return to in person school on Monday the 30th and keep students in school and allow employees and students to be as safe as possible.
Due to this decision Winter sports tryouts will be delayed until Monday November the 30th. Teachers will deliver instruction from the Box Elder High School Building.
- Superintendent Steve Carlsen
When it comes down to closing schools in Utah, the Utah Department of Health has recommendations that call for increasing mitigation steps if case counts surpass 15 at a single school within a two-week period.
However, the decision to move schools from in-person learning to online, hybrid or virtual learning will be made by school administrators in collaboration with the local school board and the local department of health.
In Utah, the Governor, the state health department and the local health department each have legal authority to close schools in response to a public health emergency.
Box Elder High’s announcement comes on the same day that the Utah Department of Health reports close to 3,319 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in the state – shattering the state’s record for daily case counts. Utah’s total case count for 2020 is 143,639 as of Nov. 12. The state also reports there have been 687 deaths associated with COVID-19.
In Box Elder County, the numbers of confirmed cases of the virus are also climbing rapidly. As of Nov. 12, the Bear River Health Department is reporting that Box Elder County has had 1,512 confirmed cases and eight deaths.
On Nov. 8, Utah Governor Gary Herbert announced that the state has issued a new health order – State Public Health Order 2020-22, effective Nov. 9, 2020. Find that health order in full HERE.
In addition to the new health order, Herbert also announced a new state of emergency - Executive Order 2020-74 for temporary statewide COVID-19 restrictions. Find that executive order in full HERE.
In that order masks are now mandated statewide without a current expiration date for that mandate. In that mandate is also states that social gatherings are now limited to only those within households. High school sports (excluding football championship games) and extracurricular activities are on hold for two weeks.