As cases surge statewide, Battle Mountain High School this week recorded two new positive cases of COVID-19, and districtwide, positive cases have been recorded at eight schools.
Still, in-person learning continues, and Eagle County Schools officials add that the current system will remain in place until the Colorado moves into the red for COVID-19 cases, when stay-at-home orders would likely kick back in. Eagle County currently is in the yellow but moving toward orange.
Here’s the information from Battle Mountain High School:
“We have two new positive cases to announce at BMHS. The first is a district staff member who does not interact with students. Public Health has investigated and determined that no other staff members nor students had close contact with the positive person. No additional quarantine orders have been issued.
“The second is a student. Public Health has investigated and determined that those in close contact with this student should quarantine. The positive case was last in school on Tuesday, October 27. Seven students and one staff member will quarantine, including the positive case.
“The staff members and students have been notified separately with quarantine orders from Public Health and should follow those orders. ALL parents and staff are receiving this letter of notification. Only the staff members and students receiving quarantine orders need to take further action. Public Health follows up with everyone on quarantine. All others can continue normal activities.
“Each case of COVID-19 is followed up on by Public Health. As part of this investigation, Public Health:
“If it becomes necessary, please cooperate with contact tracing to help contain the spread of the virus and focus Public Health’s quarantine decisions.
“This is how the system is designed to work. Rapidly identify a positive case, remove them from public circulation, remove others with close contact, and contain the spread.
“If you have further questions, please contact Eagle County Public Health and Environment at 970-235-0187.”
|And here’s a big-picture newsletter from Eagle County Schools:|
“Together, we’ve successfully held in-person instruction for our students for eight weeks.
“Let that sink in a moment. In a state where most are learning completely online, we have been able to welcome students and build face-to-face relationships (behind masks) together for eight weeks. And it’s thanks to the cooperation of families, students, and staff members. Social distancing requires the A/B hybrid model in our traditional high schools and smaller cohorts at other schools. When combined with face coverings, social distance reduces the chance of viral spread. Though inconvenient, both are helping us keep kids and teachers in school.
“To date, Public Health has not found evidence of COVID-19 transmission through schools. This means no student-to-student, student-to-teacher, or teacher-to-student transmission has occurred during school hours. Our layers of protection, including mask wearing and social distancing, are working to keep the transmission of COVID-19 from happening at schools.
“That’s not to say positive cases haven’t impacted our schools. Positive cases have happened at Battle Mountain High School, Eagle Valley Elementary School, Eagle Valley High School, Eagle Valley Middle School, Edwards Early Learning Center, Edwards Elementary School, Gypsum Creek Middle School, and Homestake Peak School. However, each case has been traced to household transmission or social gatherings and not transmitted further at schools.”
Quarantining does not mean people are sick
“The quarantine process from Public Health is a precautionary measure, not an indication of illness. When Public Health determines someone to be a Close Contact, it means that person may have had contact with a confirmed positive case of COVID-19. By that person quarantining, we reduce the possibility that they are able to spread the virus and limit transmission.
“We thank you for continuing to practice the layers of protection that help keep kids and teachers in school. Stay home if you’re sickKeep ALL household members home if one is being tested until the results are knownCooperate with Public Health on contact tracingWear face coverings in public and at schoolMaintain social distance “Cases are upticking right now, and quarantining is increasing at schools as a result. If this trend continues, it is possible that cohorts, grade levels, or individual schools may have to transition to remote learning as staffing levels are strained to provide modified in-person instruction.”
|What if the dial turns Orange? As case counts continue to rise in our community, the question we’re getting is, “what happens if the dial turns ORANGE?” Our intent is to remain in our current modified in-person modality as long as is safe and possible. In “ORANGE,” we will continue as we are currently operating. Conditions may require transitions to remote learning at various levels and locations. A class level, a grade level, or a school level transition to remote may be necessary, but our goal is to safely keep as many in school as we can. If the dial goes RED, we anticipate it will do so with new “Stay at Home” orders from the state. Because of this, we plan on transitioning to full remote district wide if we move into the RED zone.|