One of the best ways to curb the spread of COVID-19 is by doing your best to physically distance from one another. The rule of thumb is to maintain 6 feet of distance between yourself and anyone else. If that distance is maintained, the virus is less likely to be passed from one person to another.
Of course, physical distancing is challenging in a school where classroom walls cannot be moved. In those settings, if students cannot be placed 6 feet apart, they will be required to wear cloth face coverings as mandated by Utah Gov. Gary Herbert.
When a teacher is in front of the room during class — and can maintain 6 feet of distance between himself or herself and students — the teacher will not have to wear a face covering. If the teacher moves closer than 6 feet, such as for one-to-one instruction, they will be required to wear a face covering.
Students will be distanced as much as possible. In elementary schools, lunch will be scheduled by grade level with tables sanitized between each seating. In secondary schools, tables will be spaced and students will be required to wear face coverings in line when physical distancing of 6 feet is not possible.
Safety and physical distancing requirements will also be maintained during recess. If students are within 6 feet of one another, they will be required to wear a face covering as mandated by Utah Gov. Gary Herbert. Supervisors will be trained to provide structured recess activities that include physical distancing, as well as behavior management strategies. Grade levels/classes will be assigned specific areas of the playground.
Teachers may also put forth efforts to distance students from one another. They may be able to distance desks farther apart than normal. Those with larger class sizes may not be able to do that. Teachers may choose to have students face the same direction rather than facing one another and remove reading corners, etc. to optimize space.
In elementary schools, students will wash their hands before attending classes held in common spaces — InfiniD labs, computer labs, art and music — and be given a disinfecting wipe to clean all surfaces at their station before beginning the lesson. Library visits also will be scheduled. Large gatherings Because of the need to stop the spread of COVID-19, large gatherings, such as the typical back-to-school nights, band and choir concerts, may be held differently. No assemblies that include the whole school will be held. If schools can maintain physical distancing of 6 feet, smaller assemblies or performances can be held. In secondary schools, the timing for class changes will be shortened to discourage congregations of students. Directional signs will indicate expected traffic flow (travel on the right). At elementary schools, students will be released at the end of the day on a staggered schedule. More information will follow as the school year approaches.