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Corner Canyon teacher in ICU with COVID-19; 500 students quarantined

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DRAPER – A Corner Canyon High School teacher is in critical condition in an intensive care unit due to COVID-19.

Known lovingly as “Mama J” by her students, Charri Jensen is a favorite at the high school.

“She loves Corner Canyon more than anyone I know,” Talesha Jensen said about about her mom. “I mean, not even just Corner Canyon; she just has the biggest heart.”

Last week Charri Jensen started coming down with what her family called “a cough and cold-like symptoms.” She decided to get tested after her co-worker tested positive for COVID-19.

The test was positive.

Less than a week later, her symptoms were much worse. She went to a family doctor who sent her to the hospital. By that point, her oxygen had dropped so low she was admitted and intubated.

Corner Canyon is now leading the state with 42 confirmed cases and more than 500 students and faculty members under quarantine.

Last week, Canyons School District leaders put the school on a hybrid schedule. That means the student body is split in half, and each half attends school every other day in an effort to slow the spread and limit exposure.

The Canyons School Board is meeting Friday to determine what to do next. Initial recommendations from the Utah Department of Health were that schools should close if they exceeded 15 cases or 10% of the student body, whichever was lower.

Corner Canyon parents have rallied to keep the school open.

“Everything is on the table,” said CSD Director of Communications Jeff Haney. “The feedback that we are getting is a significant number of our community would like to see school remain open – even in a hybrid fashion.”

However, Charri Jensen’s condition could change that.

Heidi Matthews from the Utah Education Association said she hopes the school reconsiders the guidelines and closes the school.

“We know the most important key to success for our students is who is in front of the classroom,” Matthews said. “And we have to assure the safety of our students and their families. In doing so, we must look out for those teachers who are implementing the curriculum.”

Talesha Jensen admitted she didn’t take COVID-19 seriously until her family saw how fast the virus spread. She said she thinks the school should close to help stop the spread.

“I haven’t stopped crying. I pray with everything inside of me that she’s gonna pull through,” she said. “Corner Canyon needs her. I need her.”

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Debbie Worthen


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