March 4, 2022
RE: COVID response shifting to routine disease control
To Staff, Students, Parents, and the Rocky Ford Community:
Almost two years since the first case of COVID was reported in Colorado, the state is now entering a phase in the management of the pandemic that can be referred to as “routine disease control”. The data that was used to make this decision and other determining factors can be found on the state’s website (Colorado’s Next Chapter).
What this means for schools is fewer disruptions to the learning schedule. This is due to revisions to contact tracing and quarantine procedures. The school is no longer required to conduct contact tracing and is not required to ask individuals to quarantine except in the case of household contacts. To quote directly from the information shared by the health department:
Strategies not continued in routine disease control model (unless a cluster or outbreak is detected):
● Individual case investigation and contact tracing.
● Quarantine of students and staff with school-associated exposures.* Given the much greater risk of household exposures compared to non-household exposures, schools should continue to follow quarantine guidance for students and staff who report household exposures.
To clarify, here is an example. If a student comes to school on Monday and goes home sick and they later test positive for COVID, the school district was required for the past two years to determine who was around the student on Monday for a certain amount of time and within a certain physical distance to identify “close contacts”. Those close contacts were then either asked to quarantine or more recently were given an option to stay in school but submit to COVID testing. This process will no longer happen. The school district will expect the student who becomes ill to stay home until symptoms subside but there will be no contact tracing and no other students or staff members will be asked to quarantine or test for COVID. The one exception to this change is household contacts. If a student tests positive for COVID, the school district will expect the siblings and other household members to quarantine for a specified period.
If there are any questions or concerns regarding this shift to “routine disease control”, please contact Central Office at 719-469-7423.
Kermit Snyder, Ed.D.