October 15th, 2020

Parents and Friends of Piute County School District,

With the changes to the State of Utah’s response to COVID-19 some have questioned what it means for Piute County School District. The state has created a tiered transmission risk index for the 29 counties that includes risk levels of low, moderate, and high. Risk levels will be updated each week based on case rates, positivity rates, and statewide hospitalizations. Piute County is currently listed as a low risk county. Counties with a low population are treated a little differently on the new system. Right now we are considered low unless we have a 14 day case rate of 20 or higher. The metrics system for small counties is expected to change.

We still plan to return to in-person instruction on Wednesday, October 21st. With the recent spike in serious cases locally and around the state we will make a few small modifications to the school district’s reopening plans. These changes will be effective immediately upon our return October 21st. We have many faculty and staff members with higher risk health conditions than some of the recent COVID-19 casualties in southern Utah. All precautions are to protect the most at-risk individuals in our community. Please help us keep them safe by following these guidelines.

The first modification is that mask exemptions will now only be granted to those with an approved medical professional’s signature. Students may also be exempted with a 504 plan that specifies the need for the exemption or an IEP that specifies the need for the exemption. All students previously exempted will be expected to resubmit an exemption form with this criteria. The revised exemption form is available on the school district website under the COVID-19 tab.

Sporting events and activities will continue to be held, but home events will be limited to 25% of gym capacity as long as the county is in the low risk level. In the moderate and high risk levels other precautions may be taken, such as limiting fans to just the parents of the participants or not having any in-person fans. All home events for winter sports will be broadcast and available to watch online. When fans are permitted to attend home events they will be required to wear a face covering in all risk levels.

We are excited the State of Utah is permitting students to continue in-person instruction and extracurricular activities. We hope that by everyone taking the safety measures prescribed we will be able to continue to do those things throughout this pandemic. We hope these new measures along with the changes to the state’s quarantine guidelines will reduce the number of students who would have to quarantine in the event of more student positive cases. We recognize that students are best served in the classroom and hope to avoid future temporary closures.

Thank you very much for helping us through these two weeks of online instruction.

Thank you,

Koby Willis - Superintendent

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