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Many Utah schools suspending meals, learning material distribution, online instruction after 5.7 earthquake

Utah schools already closed in response to coronavirus outbreak

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Workers place caution tape and cones around rock facing that fell from the front entrance of Silver Crest Elementary School in Herriman, after a 5.7 magnitude earthquake centered in Magna on Wednesday, March 18, 2020.

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Some Utah school districts are suspending distribution of grab-and-go meals and instructional materials following an earthquake measuring 5.7 magnitude earthquake shortly after 7 a.m. Wednesday.

All Utah schools are in the midst of a two-week “soft closure” at the direction of state leaders to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Most are now closed as school employees assess possible earthquake damage to schools.

Many schools are providing meal service to students during the closure, but that has been suspended while district officials inspect schools for damage and to ensure the safety of employees.

Utahns should check with their local school districts or charter schools for additional information.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

Granite School District has issued a statement that says “all school and district operations will cease for the day.”

Here’s the entire message from Superintendent Martin Bates:

Dear Granite Patrons and Employees:

Superintendent Martin Bates here, typing from work actually. Lots of messages have gone out this morning, BUT, state emergency management just gave direction we should ALL follow. Under the direction of state emergency management officials, we are to limit travel and stay home. Accordingly, ALL school and district operations will cease for the day. We encourage people to travel home safely and stay tuned to the news for further community updates. School breakfast and lunch should continue tomorrow as should Chromebook distribution.

Updates will be provided via email and text and as always, on our website. Please stay safe.

The Salt Lake City School District sent this email to families:

Dear families,

Due to the earthquake this morning, we will not be able to provide meals, food boxes, or laptops/iPads today. We have sent our employees home and are currently working with essential personnel to determine the safety of our buildings and to locate any damage. We hope to be able to resume these programs tomorrow and will send word to families via email, our website, and social media.

Thank you for understanding. Please stay safe, and we will be in touch soon.

Canyons School District sent this updated message to families:

To guarantee the safety of employees and members of the public following this morning’s 5.7 magnitude earthquake, Canyons District Superintendent Dr. Jim Briscoe has declared all District facilities and school buildings closed until further notice. Public business will not be conducted in our buildings today, Wednesday, March 18.

Canyons District custodians and Facilities Management workers will conduct examinations of our facilities to determine whether schools and other CSD buildings sustained damages from the earthquake or aftershocks.

As a reminder, Canyons District has temporarily suspended the grab-and-go lunch-service program. We will communicate more information about the meal service for tomorrow when it becomes available. Remember, aftershocks are possible. For safety, drop, cover and hold.

If you have questions, please see Canyons District social media pages for the most recent information. You also can send an email message to communications@canyonsdistrict.org and a representative will be ready to help you. Thank you and please stay safe.

Davis School District posted this message on its website:

In light of the 5.7 earthquake that hit Magna and the aftershocks that we’ve felt across Davis County, please be understanding if all needs are not met today.

All building custodians are inspecting buildings for damage and the district’s Environmental Maintenance Services Department has formed teams to inspect district facilities.

A tweet said all Davis School District facilities are closed and will resume business on Thursday. “We are closing to ensure the safety of staff and the public,” it said. “Lunches will not be available at schools today, Wednesday, March 18, and device distribution will be suspended until tomorrow.”

Murray School District has also suspending food service and online learning. It posted the following message on its website:

Parents and students, we are getting reports of power outages in Salt Lake County today following the earthquake.

As such, we will NOT be holding online learning today. We will also not be able to offer lunch service today as there are potential aftershocks and we’ll need time to assess damage at our schools and the safety of our employees.

Jordan School District has posted on its Facebook page the following:

Dear Parents,

As a precaution we are closing all schools in Jordan School District immediately.

All grab-and-go lunches are cancelled today at all of our schools.

We will keep you updated

We will keep you posted throughout the day as further decisions and information are available.

Ogden School District schools are also shuttered, according to this message on the district’s website:

Dear Ogden School District Community,

Due to the earthquake and aftershock experienced this morning, we are closing all schools and suspending all services effective immediately for the rest of the day.

We will continue to assess our buildings for safety and we will provide updates as soon as they are available.

We understand this is an inconvenience and we are grateful for your support as we make every effort to ensure the safety of our students and our employees.

Weber School District is also closed. Its website states:

All schools closed, assessing earthquake damage. Lunch is canceled today.