The district has seen an upward trend in COVID-19 cases this week, particularly in high school
The Dolores RE-4A School District has seen an increase in COVID-19 cases this week and has postponed its return home events, according to Superintendent Reece Blincoe.
The district quarantined more than 60 students this week, he said – about 30 of them in sixth grade alone. More than 20 students have tested positive for the virus and two other elementary school students tested positive on Thursday, he said.
The situation began to improve on Thursday, as some students and staff returned to school, Blincoe said.
“We managed to pull ourselves together,” he said.
The only homecoming event that went as planned was Thursday’s high school volleyball game against Mancos, according to the district’s website.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has yet to record cases on its outbreak map.
The CDPHE updated its definition of an “epidemic” for most contexts on June 1. In places like schools, workplaces, events, and dormitories, an outbreak occurs when there are five or more confirmed or probable cases, with at least one case having a positive molecular amplification test or test. antigen.
Blincoe said the peak started late last week and climbed this week.
“We literally went from zero,” he said.
On Wednesday, the high school entered the “yellow status” – the third level of the five categories of the district “Infectious Disease Safety Protocols.The column was created during a few school board meetings, and breaks down the different health procedures by number of cases in the district. It can be adjusted at any time if needed by the designated district welfare committee, Blincoe said.
In yellow status, all staff are required to wear masks, but they remain optional for students. No visitors are allowed on campus. For this protocol to take effect, 3-5% of students on a campus must be infected. This equates to 13 to 21 high school students, 10 to 15 elementary school students, or three to five preschool students.
Currently, preschool and elementary school follow “blue status” – which is in effect when 1.5-3% of students on a campus are infected. This means that six to 13 high school students, five to 10 elementary school students, or one to three preschool students are infected. In blue status, masks are optional – except for food handlers – and visitors are restricted.
“We try to be safe and careful and follow the precautions,” Blincoe said.
He said that although the district is trying its best, it is unable to make everyone happy. Some parents are contacting him to oppose wearing the mask, and others are contacting him to support stricter virus regulations, he said.
“I hear it from both sides,” he said.
The high school plans to postpone its return football game until October 15, with dates for other events to follow.
“We’re going to try to do our best to bring everything back,” said Blincoe.
He said a group of seniors emailed him and high school principal Justin Schmitt to ask if it was possible to organize homecoming events.
Blincoe said he was touched, finding their ability to express themselves mature.
“I took it to heart,” he said.
He wants them to feel seen.
“We are trying to keep you in school, we also want these events,” he said.