A group of parents have come up with a dangerous and counterproductive way to keep schools open and avoid shutdowns amid the Covid pandemic.
Parents in the US state of Utah have been encouraging other parents to not get their sick kids tested for Covid-19 so schools can remain open.
Screenshots of some of the comments from parents conforming to the so-called ‘mom code’ show parents branding testing as “selfish”. They also encourage parents to keep sick kids at home, but not get them tested.
The posts are coming from within the Davis School District, according to KUTV, which shared some of the screenshots from Facebook.
“I personal [sic] think getting tested is selfish,” one parents wrote on Facebook according to the local media outlet.
“Because of the fact that they contact trace everyone so one person leads to 30 people that have to quarantine or worse, programs like athletics etc. are shut down.
“It’s mass hysteria cause one person came in contact with another person that had the sniffles and ran to get tested! Stop the testing Stop the Contact tracing.”
Another comment shared by KUTV called testing “unnecessary” .
“All it does is give the government and school district officials the power to continue to control us,” the comment said.
There are over 107,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Utah, and over 8200 in Davis County.
A Davis School District spokesperson told KUTV they were not aware of such Facebook posts, though other officials anonymously confirmed to the news station they were aware of the posts.
The Utah state government says contact tracing is an “important” part of the public health response to disease outbreaks.
“People who have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 are more at risk of getting infected and making others sick,” the state’s website says.
“Contact tracing is how public health workers find the close contacts of someone who has Covid-19.”
Speaking to ABC 7, virologist Dr Larry Corey said not getting tested for Covid-19 to prevent schools from closing is counterproductive.
“Frequent testing allows rapid identification of children with COVID and their restriction from school and sports activities, and this containment actually reduces the rapid spread," he told ABC 7.
"Frequent testing can actually start to contain outbreaks and move to opening more schools and keeping them open."
Back in August, about 250 people gathered outside the Davis School District building in Farmington, demanding the schools return to a normal schedule amid the global pandemic.
At the time, the district had announced a hybrid learning model where students would alternate between in-person learning and online classes.
On October 21, the Davis School Board approved the protocols in the event of an outbreak at one of the schools in the district.
“A school outbreak would be 15 or more positive COVID-19 cases, across multiple settings in a school (more than one classroom) within a 14-day period,” the district said in a press release.
The decision to close a school in the event of an outbreak would be made by the superintendent in consultation with the Davis County Health Department.
The classroom or school would then quarantine for 14 days, with students learning remotely.
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