Guidance for COVID-19 cases and outbreaks in schools updated with new quarantine guidelines

Reopening Southern Colorado Schools

DENVER — The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) announced revisions to its guidance for detecting, reporting, and responding to cases and outbreaks of COVID-19 in schools and child care.

The guidance provides specific steps a school and providers should take in response to cases and outbreaks, and outlines when classrooms, cohorts, and schools should close. It is a go-to manual for school leadership experiencing one or more cases of COVID-19.

The revisions to the guidance provide more tools to school districts that adopt best practices for COVID-19 mitigation, like seating charts and mask wearing. In some scenarios, they enable school districts to safely quarantine close contacts of sick students, teachers, and staff instead of entire cohorts or classrooms of students. This is particularly important for middle and high schools, where it can be more difficult to keep students in small cohorts.

This updated case and outbreak guidance, CDE’s toolkit for the 2020-21 school year, and guidance from local public health agencies will continue to provide districts with the information they need to operate schools and child care centers in a way that makes sense for their local communities. CDPHE will update guidance as additional information becomes available.

A shorter executive summary of the school case and outbreak guidance is linked here
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