Public Health: 2 Positive COVID Cases In Telluride School District

Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment school cases and outbreak guidance can be found here. For up-to-date coronavirus information visit here.

Grace Franklin, County Public Health Director.

Public Health has confirmed two positive COVID cases of students from the same household in the Telluride High School. The students, grades 9 and 12, are in isolation and Public Health is working with school officials to determine close contacts and next steps. The two students did attend school on Thursday and Friday, October 22 and 23. Those determined to be close contacts, including classroom and work groups in contact for 15 minutes or longer, will be contacted by Public Health for testing and quarantine guidance.

At this time, no additional cases have been confirmed. Telluride High School is working with Public Health to ensure all proper safety measures are being taken to keep the remaining students, teachers and staff healthy.

“We have been working with the schools and preparing for different scenarios for some time, and are currently putting these plans to action for our first reported school case,” said Public Health Director Grace Franklin. “The health and safety of our students, staff and community are of utmost importance.”

Parents are encouraged to be especially aware of their children’s health by monitoring for symptoms and doing frequent temperature checks. Symptoms include loss of taste or smell, fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, headache, sore throat, muscle or body aches, congestion or runny nose, fatigue, nausea or vomiting and diarrhea. Students exhibiting two or more symptoms should isolate immediately. If symptoms don’t resolve in 24 hours, an appointment should be scheduled with the student’s primary care provider. More detailed screening information can be found on the COVID-19 Flowchart for Staff and Students, available on the County COVID website.

As a result of the two positive cases, Telluride High School will closed at noon today with a full dismissal to remote learning while contact tracing commences. The earliest the school will reopen to hybrid leaning is Monday, November 2, though this is not guaranteed.

“We have prepared for this over the last many months and are working closely with Public Health, our students and their families to take the proper steps toward containment,” said Superintendent of Telluride Public Schools John Pandolfo.

To reduce potential spread, Public Health emphasizes the importance of the Five Commitments of Containment: Wearing masks, physical distancing, minimizing group size, frequent hand washing and staying home when sick.

“It’s critical that we continue to be vigilant with our behaviors to slow the spread and prevent additional cases,” said Franklin. “However, we must be understanding of natural incidences as we go through our day to day during this pandemic.”

Remember that the optimal test date for COVID-19 is 7 days after last potential exposure. Please note that the medical centers have limited capabilities for testing and you should not contact the medical center unless instructed by Public Health. Should you be a close contact you will be notified by Public Health and given further instruction. We encourage you to stand by to answer your phone in order to aid the prevention of further spread.

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