(PUEBLO, Colo.) — School is right around the corner and state health officials are expecting a surge in COVID-19 cases in early fall, and possibly into the spring semester.

As the nation experiences a wave of summer COVID cases, Colorado state health leaders are seeing only a slight increase in reported cases.

“We’re coming into that season where we start to see a lot of different diseases that are being transmitted among individuals,” said Alicia Solis, Program Manager of Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment (PDPHE).

Back to school means more time indoors and more chances to get sick.

“A surge this fall is very likely… we’re starting to get into a normal routine of seeing the seasonal surges. Any time we start to see more interaction, especially indoors. That’s when we start to see our numbers increase,” said Solis.

Pueblo’s Health Department is now encouraging families to practice healthy habits sooner rather than later.

“Schools [should] practice prevention methods… wearing a mask when needed, getting vaccinated, increasing handwashing, increasing ventilation, and making sure that they’re sanitizing and disinfecting high contact surfaces often,” said Solis.

Pueblo schools are already preparing for a possible COVID surge after their buildings went through improvements, according to Dalton Sprouse, Director of Communications for Pueblo School District 60.

“A lot of our schools, fortunately, received some upgrades to their buildings, which include improved ventilation at several of our schools,” said Sprouse. “So that’s going to be something that we’re hopeful is key to keeping our schools, our faculty, and, of course, our students healthy throughout the school year.”