Updated Quarantine Protocols

Updated Quarantine Protocols
Posted on 10/27/2020
Dear DCSD Families and Staff,

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) recently updated its COVID-19 guidance for cases and outbreaks in child care and schools, which allows school districts, under certain circumstances, to be more targeted in determining which students and staff to place on quarantine if a positive case of COVID-19 is identified in a school or classroom. Effective immediately, the Douglas County School District (DCSD) is revising its quarantine process to reflect this updated guidance. DCSD will continue to implement comprehensive health and safety processes and work to reduce the number of quarantined students and staff by using targeted contact identification when possible.

Revisions to our quarantine protocols will serve as a guide for DCSD staff when identifying close contacts of a person diagnosed with COVID-19. There are now two methods to identify close contacts, standard contact identification, and targeted contact identification.
  • Standard contact identification: generally used when a class or small cohort stays together for more than one class period (cumulative not consecutive).
  • Targeted contact identification (NEW): may be used when*:
    • Douglas County is at Protect Our Neighbors or Safer at Home Level 1 or 2 status on the CDPHE Dial Dashboard.
    • There is not another positive student or staff member in the same classroom.
    • A documented seating chart has been adhered to in the classroom.
    • Parents are reminded regularly to monitor their children’s symptoms and temperature at home before each school day.
    • Staff enter their symptoms and temperature daily in their school’s health screening form before or at the beginning of each school day.
      Students and staff members wear their face coverings at all times in the classroom.
    • Students and/or staff members did not engage in activities such as singing, playing wind/brass instruments, or vigorous exertion in the class.
    • The class or small cohort does not stay together in school for more than one class period (cumulative not consecutive).

*If these criteria are not met, standard contact identification will be used.

In our preschool and elementary schools, where classes of students are together more than one class period, DCSD will continue to utilize standard contact identification, meaning, in the case of an exposure, an entire class or cohort would likely be quarantined.

At our middle and high school levels, targeted contact identification will be used where possible. However, there will still be circumstances where an entire class or cohort will need to be placed in quarantine.

Prior to the most recent CDHPE’s guidance change, the quarantine protocol, pursuant to state guidance, defined close contacts of a person who is positive with COVID-19 as everyone in the classroom. The result has been large numbers of students and staff being placed in quarantine and subsequent shortages in teachers and substitute teachers. Additionally, some schools have needed to transition to remote learning during periods of quarantine. We are hopeful that our updated protocols will reduce some of those challenges that we have faced.

Every one of us--every parent, every teacher, every student, and every community member--plays a critical role in getting our schools back to normal. Here are a few ways you can help us avoid the need to quarantine large numbers of students and staff.
Should you have any questions about DCSD’s updated quarantine protocols, please feel free to email us at roadtoreturn@dcsdk12.org.

Sincerely,

Corey Wise
Interim Superintendent
Douglas County School District

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In compliance with Titles VI & VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008, and Colorado law, the Douglas County School District RE-1 does not unlawfully discriminate against otherwise qualified students, employees, applicants for employment, or members of the public on the basis of disability, race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, religion, ancestry, or need for special education services. Discrimination against employees and applicants for employment based on age, genetic information, and conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth is also prohibited in accordance with state and/or federal law. Complaint procedures have been established for students, parents, employees, and members of the public. The School District’s Compliance Officer and Title IX Coordinator to address complaints alleging sexual harassment under Title IX is Ted Knight, Assistant Superintendent, 620 Wilcox Street, Castle Rock, Colorado, complianceofficer@dcsdk12.org, 303-387-0067. Complaints regarding violations of Title VI, (race, national origin), Title IX (sex, gender), Section 504/ADA (handicap or disability), may be filed directly with the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education, 1244 North Speer Blvd., Suite 310, Denver, CO 80204. Complaints regarding violations of Title VII (employment) and the ADEA (prohibiting age discrimination in employment) may be filed directly with the Federal Office of Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 303 E. 17th Ave., Suite 510, Denver, CO 80202, or the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, 1560 Broadway, Suite 1050, Denver, CO 80202.