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Updated COVID Protocols for Jan, 2022

Updated COVID Protocols for Jan, 2022
Posted on 01/03/2022
Updated COVID Protocols for Jan, 2022

COVID cases continue to trend upward, and I hope you and your family have been able to avoid the recent surge in cases. I personally want to share with you that I am isolating at home due to a positive COVID test. While I am still working, I am also leaning on my team and district leaders who are all working to support a strong return to school for students. 

I share this because I know some of you are having the same experience. Our care and concern for everyone’s well-being is foremost on our minds. Please find the following clarification on isolation and quarantine protocols as well as an update on our COVID-related practices. A more detailed FAQ will be forthcoming later this week.

Let me start by reiterating what we communicated last week—healthy staff and students will be returning to school in-person as scheduled and masks continue to be required per public health order 21-006 in Jefferson County. We want healthy students and staff, those who are not positive for COVID or not symptomatic, to come to school daily. We are committed to safety and mitigation efforts that make that possible. We also continue to work with, and rely heavily on, Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH) and Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) who are the experts responsible for the health and safety of our local communities as well as those around the state amid the pandemic.

We are not considering districtwide delays to our return, nor are we planning to implement remote learning as an entire district. However, we will consider remote instruction on a school-by-school basis should we have significant staffing shortages or not be able to operate in-person instruction effectively for other reasons. If the Omicron variant peaks over the next week as public health experts expect and we have to close schools or move to remote learning, we are optimistic that we will be able to return to in-person learning relatively quickly. 

Isolations & Quarantines

As we return to work and school, we are updating our practices aligned with CDC guidance. Here is what you need to know:

  • Isolation (when COVID positive or symptomatic). Regardless of vaccination status, positive cases of COVID and those with symptoms should isolate for 5 days past symptom onset or positive test collection date for asymptomatic cases. The person can return to school on day 6 so long as they have not had a fever for at least 24 hours without using medication, and no longer have symptoms. No test is required to return.
  • Quarantine (when exposed to COVID). Vaccinated asymptomatic people are not required to quarantine. Quarantines for asymptomatic, unvaccinated people exposed to COVID are now 5 days past the exposure date. If the unvaccinated person has not developed any symptoms of COVID since exposure, they can return to school on day 6. No test is required to return. Note that this also applies for schools in “outbreak status” as we have not yet received information that says otherwise.

We will continue our practice of school email notifications to families regarding classroom-based exposures.

COVID Testing 

Our district strongly encourages testing, which we feel is key to keeping COVID out of our schools, giving our families peace of mind, and being responsible citizens who consider the needs of others in our community. All staff and students are strongly encouraged to test if symptomatic regardless of vaccination status. See COVID testing sites. CDPHE is providing free over-the-counter tests for parents, guardians, and caregivers to administer to school-aged children at-home. Click here to find out more.

Asymptomatic staff and students can continue to test weekly, however Mobile Health testing sites and schedules are changing after January 11 and we will be sharing more on that soon. Regular testing is especially encouraged during the months of January and February when public health officials believe the Omicron variant will be at its peak. 

Student Athletic/Activity Testing

With the expiration of Jefferson County public health order 21-002, we encourage but will not require unvaccinated students participating in CHSAA sponsored athletics and activities to test on a weekly basis in the spirit of sportsmanship and for their own health and safety. Mask requirements remain in place.

COVID Vaccination Clinics

Jefferson County Public Health and partners are hosting vaccination clinics to provide free COVID-19 vaccines in many locations across the county. Please check this page for more information.

We want to thank you for everything you are doing to contribute to healthy and safe school environments. #BetterTogether

Sincerely,

Tracy Dorland
Superintendent

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