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‘Check to Keep’: How youngsters can stay in class throughout a COVID-19 outbreak

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SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – College students throughout the nation have returned to school rooms, however whether or not they keep there might depend upon how nicely their faculties management COVID-19.

Utah was the primary within the nation to check out the “Check to Keep” protocol final college 12 months.

The purpose is to maintain negative-testing youngsters in class moderately than ship them dwelling throughout an outbreak.

Youngsters at Kearns Excessive Faculty in Kearns, Utah, began studying in particular person a few month in the past.

Final 12 months, the college tried the Test to Stay technique in a pilot program.

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As soon as the variety of COVID-19 {cases} reached a sure threshold, it examined everybody for the virus over a two-day interval.

“At that time limit, we had been capable of proceed on with the college 12 months with those that examined destructive,” stated Granite Faculty District spokesman Ben Horsley.

Kearns Excessive Faculty in Kearns, Utah, examined all college students below the “Check to Keep” pilot program Dec. 7-8, 2020. Now, the Check to Keep protocol is written into state legislation.
(Granite Faculty District)

After the pilot testing, the Utah legislature wrote the protocol into law in March.

Colleges with 1,500 or extra college students should take a look at everybody if 2% of the scholar inhabitants has COVID-19. Colleges with fewer than 1,500 college students should take a look at everybody if 30 or extra individuals have COVID-19.

“As soon as that threshold has been hit, we’ll come and conduct a sweep of the whole pupil inhabitants,” stated Maggie Graul, this system supervisor for the Ok-12 testing program on the Utah Division of Well being.

“It’s completely doable that faculties may very well be hitting that Check to Keep threshold a number of instances all through the college 12 months,” she added.

The state division of well being has offered the checks and personnel.

4 faculties in Utah hit the edge final week, prompting a Check to Keep occasion. In whole, they performed about 3,600 checks. Ninety had been Positive.

In the meantime, Kearns Excessive Faculty has stayed within the clear for now, with fewer than 5 energetic COVID-19 {cases}. It might start a Check to Keep occasion if the variety of energetic {cases} had been to achieve round 46.

“That is the principle protocol we’re hanging our hat on by way of if there may be an outbreak, that is what we’ll make the most of to determine potential {cases},” Horsley stated.

Utah is among the many states that enacted a ban on faculties from requiring masks.


Youngsters who take a look at Positive are nonetheless required to quarantine at dwelling for 10 days.

Whereas faculties in Utah used Check to Keep final college 12 months, the protocol is a current growth for faculties in different areas equivalent to Marietta, Ga. Some faculties in southwest Ohio and northern Kentucky are utilizing the technique as nicely.

However Check to Keep might look completely different in every space. 


In Utah, the testing is finished till the case depend reaches the edge once more. Colleges in different states might take a look at every day.

Mother and father ought to contact native well being departments and faculty districts for security and well being pointers.

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