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West Jordan, Mountain Ridge high schools shift to online due to rising COVID-19 cases

Mountain Ridge High School in Herriman is pictured on Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020.
Mountain Ridge High School in Herriman is pictured on Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020.
Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Meeting in emergency session, the Jordan Board of Education voted late Tuesday to close West Jordan and Mountain Ridge high schools and shift to online learning starting Thursday.

The moves come because of an increasing number of COVID-19 cases in the schools.

There will be no classes today to give teachers a day to plan and prepare to move their instruction online. Staff will be allowed in school buildings to gather instructional materials if needed.

In-person classes are scheduled to resume Oct. 27, after fall break.

North and South locations of the Jordan Academy for Technology and Careers (JATC) will remain open and offer in-person instruction. Buses will run on normal schedules Wednesday with “more details to come,” according to the school district website.

Grab-and-go lunches will be available each school day from 11 a.m. to noon and the schools will announce other details about how students will shift to online learning.

Activities will continue based on the recommendation of administrators and the Salt Lake County Health Department.

Associate Superintendent Michael Anderson told the board that each of the schools have more than 20 active cases of COVID-19, which include staff and students.

West Jordan High School in West Jordan is pictured on Monday, Nov. 4, 2019.
West Jordan High School in West Jordan is pictured on Monday, Nov. 4, 2019.
Colter Peterson, Deseret News

West Jordan has 26 active cases, nine of them among staff members. Mountain Ridge, which is in Herriman, has 22.

At both schools, the number of cases is expected to climb, Anderson said.

“Cases are trending up for both cases and quarantine at Mountain Ridge High School,” Anderson said. One group quarantined was the sophomore football team, he said.

As for West Jordan High School, “We do believe that numbers of active cases will continue to increase,” he said.

According to the school district’s dashboard, there are 235 active cases of COVID-19 districtwide and 2,123 people quarantined.

Earlier this month, the Jordan board voted to temporarily close Riverton High School for deep cleaning after 17 confirmed cases of COVID-19. The school closed to in-person learning one day, and implemented remote learning the following day and resumed a normal schedule after the weekend. The district dashboard, which was updated on Tuesday, indicates there are 17 active cases at the school with 73 people quarantined.

Copper Hills High School was also temporarily closed for “deep cleaning and thorough disinfection of the building” after public health officials “identified more than 15 active cases of COVID-19 within the ... school,” according to the school’s website.

Presently, its football team has had more than three cases and its games are canceled through Oct. 2.

The district’s dashboard says there are 25 active cases at Copper Hills High School with 286 people quarantined.