Four Utah schools moving online after COVID-19 outbreaks

Editor’s note: The Salt Lake Tribune is providing free access to critical stories about the coronavirus. Sign up for our Top Stories newsletter, sent to your inbox every weekday morning. To support journalism like this, please donate or become a subscriber.

As coronavirus case counts continue to rise in Utah, four schools battling outbreaks announced Wednesday a switch to virtual learning for the next few weeks.

Copper Hills High School in West Jordan, Syracuse High School in Syracuse, Cyprus High School in Magna and Weber High School in Pleasant View will cease classes in-person starting Thursday. All four schools plan to return to in-person learning later this month.

Janice L. Voorhies, a Jordan School District board member, said at an emergency meeting on Wednesday that Copper Hills officials were worried about how quickly the number of positive cases at the school was growing, and how many students would need to quarantine because of those cases.

The board said more than 30 students had tested positive for COVID-19 as of Wednesday night and expected more positive tests Thursday. Voorhies said for every student who tests positive, five to eight will need to quarantine.

“Virtually every class in school could be affected,” she said.

A letter to parents from Syracuse Principal Jed Johansen says there will be no school on Thursday to give teachers time to transition to online learning. He said the closure is supposed to last until Nov. 19.

Weber High School said in a news release that they expect to return to school on Nov. 19. The school said some extracurriculars will be allowed during the closure.

Cyprus High said in a letter to parents that the school will get two days of deep cleaning. Teachers will keep working from the school after it is cleaned while students learn at home. The school has computers and WiFi available for students who need them.

Granger High and Olympus High in Salt Lake County closed last month because of COVID-19.

Utah reported 2,110 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, the second-highest increase since the pandemic began, and six new deaths.