Students in alternative school “strongly encouraged” to wear masks |

Students in alternative school “strongly encouraged” to wear masks

Over 7% of the Moffat County School District’s alternative school has tested positive for COVID-19, meaning that staff will be required to wear masks over the next week.

After a decision this week from the Moffat County Board of Public Health — which is the Board of County Commissioners — MCSD buildings will only “strongly recommend” masks for students when rates go above 3%. According to the original reopening plan passed by the school board last summer, if positivity rates were to go above 3%, that would have prompted the district to require masks for everyone in buildings. Last semester, rates never got above 3%, so this is the first time this school year that a school building has surpassed that threshold.

Rates are calculated using tests from both staff and students.

All of the other positivity rates in the districts remain relatively low. Sunset Elementary has the next highest rate, sitting at 1.69%, but over 9% of the school’s population has been sent home to quarantine. The early childhood center, Sandrock Elementary and Craig Middle School have positivity rates above 1%, but their quarantined rates remain relatively low.

Moffat County High School and Ridgeview Elementary have positivity rates below 1%. Across the district, 1% of students and staff are positive and 2.5% are quarantined.

According to data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, one-week average positivity rates have remained high — 28.9%, as reported on Jan. 20. That means more than one in four tests taken comes back positive.

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