Cache Valley health and medical professionals ask for masks in schools – Cache Valley Daily


To: Governor Cox, Board of Directors and Officers of BRHD; and the following officials who serve in Cache County: state legislators, county executive and council, mayors and council members, school boards and school administrators

We are local doctors and health professionals who live and work in the communities of Cache Valley. Many of you may know us, or know our names, as we may have taken care of you or your loved ones over the years. You might see us at church, at the grocery store, and at local events. Our children can go to school together. Thank you for entrusting us with your care.

As this latest wave of COVID-19 converges with the start of the 2021 school year, we face a new and heightened challenge. The social and educational benefits of in-person schooling are well documented for K-12 students and university students. We need to make sure these students and schools are safe.

Cache County has seen a recent increase in COVID-19 cases and is classified as high risk for COVID transmission and extremely high risk for those not vaccinated. In response to the increased circulation of the highly transmissible Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, the CDC and other professional organizations like the American Academy of Pediatrics have updated their guidelines for strongly recommend universal interior masking for all teachers, staff, students and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of their immunization status. Universal masking in schools is essential to mitigate COVID infections and limit disruptive quarantines for students and families or closures of entire classrooms or schools.

We all look forward to the end of the pandemic, but low vaccination rates in Cache County and the faster spread of the Delta variant have delayed that end. Case rates are increasing, especially among school-aged children, and are now more than four times what they were a year ago when students were required to mask themselves and many learned at home. Just weeks into the school year, two Utah schools (including our own Sky View High) are already approaching the case count threshold for a Test-to-Stay event, in which students must have a negative COVID test to continue in-person schooling. Given that cases have recently increased in Cache, it is likely that an increase in illnesses, hospitalizations and deaths will follow in the coming weeks.

Utah House Bill 1007 (HB 1007) prevents schools and universities from requiring face masks, although the use of masks has proven to be a key part of protecting our children and our community. The bill was passed in May of this year as the number of cases dwindled and we all hoped the pandemic was drawing to an end. We hope those of you in leadership positions in our state and community choose to respond with empathy in your management. Governor Spencer Cox may recall our state legislature in session to amend legislation in light of changes in state-level pandemic circumstances. In late August, Governor Cox announced he would issue an executive order allowing local education officials to require masks for students and school staff, placing the onus on them. The law also allows county health departments to issue public health orders, provided the county approves it, and it is clearly time they did. Salt Lake City Mayor Mendenhall has issued an ordinance requiring masks in K-12 schools, and a similar ordinance could be developed for towns in Cache Valley.

Because we care about the children in our community and their families, we ask Governor Cox, the Bear River Health Department, our state legislators, Cache County elected officials, and county municipal officials, as well that members of the school boards of Logan City and Cache County school districts, to unite to create public health standards and community ordinances that require masks in schools. Experience shows that school-aged children are motivated to stay healthy and stay in school. They have shown that they can easily wear masks for their own health and that of their friends. Until there is widespread vaccination in all age groups, universal masking remains one of our best strategies to protect children and prevent further transmission.

We look forward to a day when our daily lives will not be so drastically affected by the pandemic. Today, school-aged children rely on leadership adults to help keep them safe. As you have entrusted your care to us, we hope you will take these recommendations into consideration and we implore you to work together for a healthy and productive school year. Thank you.


Andrew Cobabe, AuD

Mellisa LaMalfa, IA
Registered nurse

Marion Bishop, MD
Emergency doctor

Chantel Erickson
Registered Nurse, Home Health

Apostolos Theophilou, PT

Katelyn E Battles, BSN-RN
Emergency registered nurse

Registered nurse

T. Michael Bishop
Retired emergency doctor

Daniel Sharp, MD
Family doctor

Jennifer Valcarcé
Registered nurse in the emergency department

Geoffrey L. Braden, MD
Clinical gastroenterologist

Andrea Chamberlain, CT, OTR / L
Occupational therapist

Ashley Crum, MD
emergency doctor

Patricia sadoski
Retired nurse and senior consultant

Mary DaSilva, IA
IA, retired

Linda J Roberts, FNP
Nurse practitioner

Claire Chadwick
Registered nurse

Jocelyn Conner, DPT

Virginie L. Anderson
Retired graduate nurse

Sheryl Roper, MSN, PNP-C
Pediatric nurse practitioner

Kathleen Strelich, BS

Zoe Adler, MD

Randall Durrant
Head of Nursing

Prafulla Martin-Garg, MD

JoAnn Hamilton, CMA
Certified medical assistant

Rachel rood

Daniel Huff, DPM

Brad M Goates, MD
Family medicine

Craig w armstrong
Retired pediatrician

Megan S. Pavlus
Medical assistant

Ali Ben-Jacob, MD

Heather weaver
Emergency nurse

Todd A Brown, MD FAAFP
Hospice Doctor

Shane R Larson, MD

Brian W. Carlson, MD
Chief Physician, Logan Clinic Family Medicine

Chad Dallon, MD

Michael Visick, MD, FAAP

Matt Rogers, MD

Thomas H. Clark, MD
Family doctor

Austin Bowles, MS, MD

Katie Ball
Mental health professional

Danny Sandgren, DO

Michael Housley, MD
Family medicine

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