New Colorado coronavirus guidelines could mean fewer school quarantines, more in-person learning |

New Colorado coronavirus guidelines could mean fewer school quarantines, more in-person learning

"Targeted" quarantine would result in fewer cohorts or classes being disrupted after potential exposure to coronavirus

Melanie Asmar / Chalkbeat
Joanna Rosa-Saenz and Silvia Estala became fast friends at their children's school and work together to advocate for their kids education as they do at Rosa-Saenz's home on October 12, 2020 in Denver, Colorado. Joanna's son Alejandro, 4, eats an apple at his computer in the small classroom his mother created for the kids to do their schoolwork.
Kathryn Scott / Colorado Sun

New Colorado state guidance could mean fewer teachers have to quarantine at home after a positive case of COVID-19 at their school, allowing more classrooms to stay open.

The guidance, released Wednesday, comes after district superintendents advocated for increased flexibility on who to send home when students or staff members test positive. The new rules allow schools in all counties to enact targeted quarantines of a sick person’s close contacts rather than quarantining that person’s entire class or cohort.

Previously, the guidelines required whole classes or cohorts to quarantine in counties with high levels of COVID transmission. That sometimes resulted in leaving too few adults to operate schools, which necessitated a switch to remote learning.

Twenty-two of Colorado’s 30 largest school districts plan to offer only virtual instruction between Thanksgiving and Christmas, according to a Chalkbeat analysis. In shifting to online learning, many superintendents cited staffing shortages due to high numbers of teachers in quarantine.

Gov. Jared Polis has repeatedly said he’d like to see schools remain open for in-person learning, a decision that’s left up to individual districts in Colorado. On Wednesday, he said the new quarantine guidelines, which he noted are “nearly identical to protocols that worked in August and September,” are a good way to maximize in-person learning.

To read the rest of the Chalkbeat article, click here.

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