These proactive measures to limit the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Utah public schools are effective for the next two weeks beginning on Monday, March 16, 2020. At that time, the Utah Coronavirus Task Force will reassess the situation and announce the plan for schools going forward.

Utah schools are dismissed for a period of two weeks in order to help prevent the spread of novel coronavirus in our communities. This dismissal does not apply to private schools.

The reason we are using the word ‘dismissal’ and not ‘closure’ is because a ‘dismissal’ allows for local options and opportunities. Our local districts and charters know their communities best and have been working with their local health departments to assess risk.

We are not ending the school year by any means. Funding will continue to all schools. Local school districts and charters are to develop plans to address the following issues:

• Child nutrition. Schools are to provide meals to students who need them. Especially for those students who rely on school meals. We imagine this turning into a ‘grab and go’ system, where it is needed.

• Continuing services for students with disabilities.

• One-on-one or small group tutoring, where it is needed.

• Continuing instruction. Schools will implement online instruction, off-line instruction, or a combination of both. If a school is already online, they should continue business as usual.

• Staggering pick-up of school work, books, or other items needed by students to take home for the 14 days, in order to increase social distancing. Schools should not direct kids to rush in and clear out their lockers.

• Utilize and pay all employees, regardless if their role is directly related to instruction.

The control remains with our local health officers to change this decision from a dismissal to a closure, if they feel the situation warrants it.