MCSD experiencing quarantines two weeks into the school year

Craig Middle School is among those experiencing student quarantines early in the school year.
Cuyler Meade / Craig Press

Two weeks into the school year, dozens of students in Moffat County School District are quarantined as a result of exposure to COVID-19.

Based on the district’s reopening plan, when the transmission rate exceeds 2%, all adults in school buildings will be required to wear masks, and when that rate exceeds 3% all students and staff across preschool to 12th grade will wear masks during indoor activities.

According to a letter sent to MCSD parents, the school district said that data about quarantines and positivity rates will be shared on the school district website starting Sept. 3. As of Sept. 2, MCSD buildings do not require masks of adults or students — regardless of vaccination status — but does “strongly encourage” those who are not vaccinated to wear masks in schools.

“At this time, these thresholds have not been met, however we wanted to share this communication with you in anticipation of what may come,” the letter said.

According to the letter, 48 students across the district must test positive in order to mandate masks for adults, and 72 must test positive to reach the 3% threshold that will require masks of students, as well.

Currently, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is conducting contact tracing between those who have been exposed to the virus, and seating charts within classrooms are used to help narrow down which students are quarantined. In the reopening plan, vaccinated students and staff will not be required to quarantine, and unvaccinated students and staff can return to in-person learning after seven days if they test negative after day five.

According to parents in the district, at least one second grade class at Sandrock Elementary has been sent home to quarantine, and around 80 middle schoolers have also been quarantined, as well as an unknown number of high schoolers.

On Thursday, Gov. Jared Polis said that K-12 students who opt in to statewide COVID-19 testing will receive incentives for “contributing to a public good.”

Incentives include $25 for the first COVID-19 test that is administered through this program and then receive $10 for every subsequent test administered each week. Incentives are distributed via gift card once a month. Parents and guardians must sign a consent form before a student under the age of 18 can join the program.

Additionally, any school that participates in the program will receive $2.50 per test administered and reported to CDPHE as a reimbursement for the testing administrative costs.

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