KUTV

'Mom Code' Pact Sees Parents Avoid Testing Kids For COVID To Avoid School Closures

As America battles its third major nationwide surge of the coronavirus pandemic, some parents in Utah have reportedly come up with a pact to avoid testing their children in an effort to keep virus cases artificially low.

According to Good Morning America, the so-called "mom code" encourages parents within Utah's Davis School District to keep their child home if they're showing COVID-19 symptoms, but not to have them tested.

Spikes in COVID cases across Utah have already forced some schools to close and make the transition to online-learning.

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In accordance to the state's health requirements, Davis School District announced last week that any schools with more than 15 reported positive virus cases will transition to remote learning for two weeks.

“You don’t become a parent to deal with a pandemic, you don’t become a student in school so you can be a part of a pandemic; and you don’t go into the teaching profession with an expectation of teaching during a pandemic," Board President John Robison said, as per the announcement. "But the stark reality is that we are all in this together."

However, some parents within the district are so reluctant to see their schools close that they've pledged to avoid testing their children, as per the new "mom code".

Screenshot photos of Facebook messages obtained by KUTV show one parent encouraging the rest to resist testing their children, claiming it is "unnecessary."

"All it does is give the government and school district officials the power to continue to control us," the unidentified person wrote. "If sick, stay home and get better."

In another screenshot, the same parent continues their rant with the claim that getting tested is "selfish" as it has the potential to lead to school closures.

"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," they wrote. "It's mass hysteria cause one person came in contact with another person that had the sniffles and ran to get tested."

In an effort to really drive their point home, they added, "Stop the testing."

While some parents are going along with the "mom code", others fear community spread if this anti-testing pact continues.

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"If there is a quarantine with a sports team or with any of the classrooms, they are encouraging each other not to have their children tested," Genevra Prothero, a parent in the school district, told GMA. "This is a time where we need to really focus on tracing the virus so we can be able to stop the spread."

In a separate interview with KUTV she added, “I think that it is absolutely a disgrace.”

Although it's unclear how many parents are taking part in the "mom code", health officials told GMA they could be helping the virus spread by refusing to test their children.

For the past week, Utah has averaged 1,507 new positive virus cases a day. More than 1 million tests have already been administered in Utah since the pandemic began with a nearly 18% positivity rate. In Davis County alone, there have been 8,377 positive COVID cases, with 41 deaths and an 8.1% positivity testing rate.

On Tuesday, Gov. Garry Herbert said the state is experiencing "one of the worst (coronavirus) outbreaks in the country."

h/t: Good Morning America, KUTV