August COVID-19 News and Updates - Important Health Screener Reminders

As mentioned in our COVID-19 Process and Procedures for the 2021/22 school year, our primary goal is to keep students in school as much as possible and maintain a consistent learning environment within each classroom. 


Communication Protocols


Our communication protocols have changed since last year.  In accordance with health guidance, 9-R will no longer require proactive quarantining of those who may have been exposed to a positive and/or symptomatic individual. 9-R health service providers will work with families on best practices and will provide guidance if a family member in the home tests positive for COVID-19. 9-R will continue to follow SJBPH’s infectious disease guidelines and take additional health measures as directed by SJBPH.


This updated guidance means that 9-R will no longer notify school communities (staff, parents and guardians) about positive and/or symptomatic cases if they are not exposed. Staff, parents and guardians will no longer receive emails and automated phone calls about positive cases in their school. Instead, 9-R will maintain important updates and information on the existing COVID-19 News and Updates page with reported positive cases on a monthly basis, not daily.


Families with students who have been exposed to a positive case and/or require quarantine will receive an initial communication from the school district, including call, text and email depending on family information provided to the school district. Subsequent communications around quarantines and testing etc. will come directly from the health department. 


August COVID-19 Exposures in Schools


During the two weeks of school in August, there were a total of six (6) low-risk exposures that did not impact individuals outside of those who tested positive for COVID-19. Low-risk exposure means that  individuals exposed were following mitigation strategies, including wearing a mask, getting tested, or being vaccinated, and quarantines were not necessary. These mitigation strategies, including physical distancing, continue to reduce the impacts in our schools and for our school communities. For more detailed information on cases and transmission rates in La Plata County, please refer to the COVID-19 Data Dashboard on the San Juan Basin Public Health website.


Student Daily Health Screeners and Symptom Screening


All schools will continue to conduct daily health screeners of all students. Some schools may have different ways in which they are completing the screeners, so please watch for specific information from your school or student’s teacher on how you can support your child’s daily health screen. Students will also be monitored throughout the day for symptoms.


We would like to emphasize that keeping students home with any symptoms is a primary tool to get ahead of its spread within our community. Allowing children to stay home to be monitored gives time to see what direction symptoms will go. If your child is experiencing symptoms, please do not send your child to school. Please note that symptom screening will take place at each school location.


Minor symptoms (listed below) have to be resolved/gone, without any medication, within 48 hours before they may return to school. Major symptoms must resolve within 24 hours AND they must be symptom free, without medication, for another 24 hours before returning to school. Students CANNOT be in school with any minor or major symptoms without a negative molecular test or an existing health care plan in place.


If symptoms last longer than this time frame, we will require a negative molecular COVID test to return to school and symptoms must be improving.  Our schools are able to administer molecular testing, which will allow them back in school sooner.  Please reach out to your school’s health office to receive more information on how to schedule a test.


Major Symptoms

Fever of 100.4 or greater, new or worsening cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, loss of taste or smell.


Minor Symptoms

Runny nose, congestion, sore throat, aches, headaches, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.

The most important thing is to remember to keep your student home if they are exhibiting any of the symptoms.