Coronavirus In Schools Across Utah


Photo by James Mcnee

Bingham High School Miner statue wearing his mask

As we venture further into the year at Bingham High, the infamous Covid-19 has been rampant throughout every school district on a global scale. The fear, as well as the cases, have risen exponentially across our school district. Our administration has worked hard in order to stall the inevitable spread of this virus and to follow the district and state guidelines.


Bingham High is currently awaiting the District Board’s decision on whether to continue the at-home, online learning model that has taken place the first week following fall break. Teachers and students have been attending class through Zoom. As of October 29, Bingham has 31 active COVID-19 cases and 39 quarantined students. 


Another recent change is the rule for quarantined students attending the Jordan School District. If you are to be sent home from an exposure, and you were wearing a mask, you only have to quarantine for 7 days. This is only if you test negative by the 7th day, however. Students will not be allowed to return to school until they’ve done so. 


Of the high schools in the Jordan School District, Mountain Ridge High, West Jordan High, and Riverton High have also had periods of online learning. Mountain Ridge High was closed until October 27th, with a district high at 44 active cases. West Jordan High was also closed until the 27th, with 30 cases. 


Our staff takes their job very seriously, and has committed to the plan the school district has provided. We’ve witnessed this plan take action once already, as Bingham was closed down October 9th for deep cleaning. This is after 15 active cases were reported.


The student body of Miners has been greatly affected due to this crisis. We’ve all seen this firsthand, as our beloved football team had their first game of the season canceled after 3 players tested positive back in August of this year. 


One student, Izzy Nielsen, who is the Financial Officer for Bingham’s Symphonic Orchestra has expressed her disappointment with the outcome of this year thus far. “I was really sad I wasn’t able to go on my Orchestra tour to Seattle,” she said, “it’s my favorite city.”


If the numbers continue to heighten after that, and the school rises to 52 cases, which is 2% of the population, a school wide quarantine will be issued. It will be indispensable that all students and staff stay home for 14 days.


So far, only one school in Utah has exceeded 50 cases, and that’s Corner Canyon. After ignoring Utah health officials’ advice to close down the school after they reached 15 cases, the cases soared to 70 in less than a week.


As a result of this frightening outbreak, a teacher at Corner Canyon was put in intensive care after contracting the virus. It left students, teachers, and her family worried for her life. Her name is Charri Jensen, or as she’s more commonly referred to by students, “Mama J.” After eight painful days on a breathing tube, she was able to return to her family.


Our community and school district have understandably deemed the quarantining obligatory. With little arguments against it, it’s safe to say that most people recognize that keeping potentially ill students home is vital to Bingham remaining open.


This last Thursday, Utah has set a new record of 1,501 cases in one day. This is not a surprise, as the week prior a streak was set of at least 1,000 new cases daily. This has added up to a disturbing total of 81,947 cases, and 512 deaths statewide.


As we proceed with the school year, it’s important to keep practicing social distancing and wear masks. It’s especially salient as the winter months grow nearer, and we enter the Flu season.