Utah health officials warn of parent group not testing kids for COVID

State health officials are not sure how many parents are part of the so-called “mom code” group but reiterated that testing is critical to identify cases.
3:08 | 10/26/20

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Transcript for Utah health officials warn of parent group not testing kids for COVID
Now to health officials sounding the alarm after allegations that a group of parents in Utah secretly agreed to avoid testing their children for covid-19 to keep schools open. T.J. Holmes joins us now with more on the so-called mom code. It's hard to even fathom. A parent saying, I don't want to get my child tested because I don't want to confirm whether or not my child has covid. Not just that, encouraging other parents to do the same. This is happening allegedly in Utah, a state seeing record numbers of covid cases. Turns out parents have their reasons for this and the health department says those reasons aren't reason enough to put the otcommunity at risk. It's part of the so-called mom code and the Utah departmenf health is warning about the group of parents reportedly pledging not to test their kids for coronavirus. In order to make infection numbers artificially appear lower. This is all in an attempt to keeps and school sports open and avoid quarantine. If there is a quarantine with a sports team or with any of the other classrooms they're encouraging each other not to have their children tested. Reporter: As a parent Jeannette fears community spread if the mom code is encouraged. This pandemic is not a normal thing. This is a time where we need to really focus on, you know, tracing this virus so we can be able to stop the spread. Reporter: She's seen Facebook messages like these, stay home, don't get tested and if your child shows covid symptom, please keep them home but do not test. State health officials say it's unknown how many parents are actually taking part, but warned those who do could be contributing to the spread of covid-19 writing in a statement, testing is a critical element of our response. Identifying cases is a key strategy to limping the spread of disease in our communities. It will be very hard to be able to distinguish between just regular everyday winter-type illnesses and covid, they also have to potentially take their child out into a community that could then expose that child. Reporter: Milie Daly is a mother of four running for the school board and says while she isn't participating in the mom code, she can understand why It's not mandated to get tested. That's the thing so we need to remember that it is a choice and you need to make decisions based off of what you feel. Reporter: But tracking the virus in Utah is of fundamental importance especially right now with record-setting daily case numbers, over 1600 cases reported on Saturday alone. Some of the parents allegedly involved and also the school district in particular did not give us a response here, but, guy, it's a little complex, right? A parent has to consider if my child is out of school can I stay home for 14 days out of work? Can I afford child care? That's complex. That's not a reason necessarily or an excuse but still these are things that parents are grappling with and the health department said trace something necessary. We need to know who has the you've got to get tested. Knowledge is power, right? It is, all right, T.J., thank you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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