HAE
COVID-19 Case & Outbreak Reporting

Schools, camps, and childcare facilities are required to report COVID-19 cases and outbreaks to their local public health agency. 

 

Childcares and camps should complete the outbreak reporting form when they have had 5 COVID-19 cases in 14 days, with at least two tests being proctored by a medical provider, lab or testing site.  

 

There is currently no definition for COVID-19 outbreaks in K-12 school settings; however, we encourage our school partners to reach out to us at comm-disease@larimer.org with questions about clusters and outbreak-like situations.

Larimer County Department of Health and Environment COVID-19 Operations Guide for Schools, Childcares, and Camps

 

Larimer County follows guidance from our state partner the Colorado Department of Health and Environment (CDPHE). Additional guidance for early childhood education settings from CDPHE can be found here.

For additional guidance, please refer to the following guidance pages from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE): 

Larimer County follows guidance from our state partner the Colorado Department of Health and Environment (CDPHE). The key guidelines and recommendations have been summarized in this chart below. Additional guidance for K-12 settings from CDPHE can be found here.

COVID-19 Requirements and Recommendations in Larimer County K-12 settings 
Updated 8/16/2022

Routine Disease Control Cluster Assessment*
No clusters or outbreaks identified 3 or more cases in a cohort within 10 days
Requirements Requirements

-Follow isolation requirements for students and staff who are ill or have tested positive for COVID-19.

- Continue to report identified cases to public health as required by Colorado Statute and Regulation (6 CCR 1009-1).


 

-Previous requirements PLUS

- LCDHE may require the following information to assist you in a thorough cluster assessment: seating charts, rosters, vaccination status, absenteeism, and any information on outside exposures for all impacted classrooms/ activities. Please be prepared to provide these upon request. 

- Notify staff, teachers, and the parents and guardians of students in the affected cohort informing them of the cluster and required protection measures within 2 working days. Encourage parents to monitor exposed children for symptoms. Ensure parents have an easily accessible system to report new symptoms.

Recommendations Recommendations

- Individuals who were recently exposed to COVID-19 should take precautions including masking for 10 days while indoors and around others following their date of last exposure.

- Continue to support regular mask use by staff and students. At a high COVID-19 Community Level, universal indoor masking, including K-12 settings, is strongly recommended**

- Implement transmission prevention strategies, including testing and masking for staff and students following illness and exposures.

- Strongly recommend tracking school absenteeism. If possible this should be broken down by reason (illness or non-illness related) and type of illness (i.e. respiratory or gastrointestinal).

Become familiar with the various CDPHE school  testing options.

- Continue to encourage vaccination of staff and students

-Review existing mitigation strategies and introduce new ones where appropriate (avoiding lunches and recess  that bring together classrooms and grades, increased ventilation and filtration, increased disinfection, increased hand hygiene awareness, etc.)

-Notify parents and guardians of in school exposures so they can make informed decisions. This template has been provided for your convenience. 

Exposure Notification Template

 

-Previous recommendations PLUS

- Universal mask wearing throughout the impacted cohort, including staff and teachers for 10 days following the date the last positive case attended while infectious.**


- If not already completed, provide LCDHE with absenteeism rates related to illness for the school and the impacted cohort

- Set up meetings between LCDHE and school staff to discuss trends, adjust protective measures and other protocols, as necessary

- Routine testing among cluster classrooms or activities. Schools can use tests available through CDPHE’s Test to Know Program.
 

* The Colorado Department of Health and Environment (CDPHE) does not currently have a defined outbreak threshold for K-12 facilities or higher education. The term “cluster” is being used here to capture situations that may not need to be reported as an Outbreak. Defining and reporting outbreaks to CDPHE will depend on a number of factors including the number of cases, the illness attack rate, and the severity of illness. 

 

Without routine case investigation and contact tracing in place, outbreaks may be difficult to identify and outbreak thresholds challenging to implement. If schools identify increases in absenteeism, especially due to respiratory illness, or an increase in reported cases of COVID-19, they should contact LCDHE. LCDHE will work closely with schools to determine if an outbreak is suspected and if outbreak response strategies are needed to control transmission.

**Although universal masking is no longer required as of 2/12/2022 in most Larimer County K-12 schools, persons returning to school on days 6-10 following isolation must wear a well-fitting mask over the mouth and nose while at school or around others. Anyone unable to wear a well-fitting mask over their mouth and nose should complete a full 10 days of isolation. Schools are encouraged to make this common knowledge for parents and staff as well as create a mask-friendly environment so students do not experience unintended consequences (i.e. bullying) from following these requirements. Individuals who were recently exposed to COVID-19 should take precautions including masking for 10 days while indoors and around others following their date of last exposure.

 

Given the potential risk of transmission on days 6-10, LCDHE will support partners who choose to maintain a 10-day isolation period for cases. This is not required.

Isolation:

  • Individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 including on at home antigen tests should stay home and not come back to school until fever-free for 24 hours, AND other symptoms have improved, AND it has been at least 5 days from onset of symptoms, or if asymptomatic, 5 days from the date the positive test was administered. 
  • Well fitting masks must be worn for 5 days after discontinuing isolation if cases utilize the shortened 5 day option. In situations where it is not feasible for a case to reliably wear a well fitting mask in this time frame (days 6-10), the individual should be excluded for the full 10 day period. These situations may include early childhood education centers and classes with special needs students. Facilities are encouraged to consult with LCDHE to determine if masking requirements can be met in order to utilize this shortened 5 day isolation period.  

Post-Exposure Precautions: 

In accordance with CDPHE guidance, local public health agencies may take a heightened risk approach to higher risk exposures, including quarantine of exposed individuals. LCDHE may recommend contact tracing during a cluster assessment (3 or more cases in a 10 day period). Individuals who were recently exposed to COVID-19 should take precautions including masking for 10 days while indoors and around others following their date of last exposure.

Childcares and camps should complete the outbreak reporting form when they have had 5 COVID-19 cases in 14 days, with at least two tests being proctored by a medical provider, lab or testing site.  

There is currently no definition for COVID-19 outbreaks in K-12 school settings; however, we encourage our school partners to reach out to us at comm-disease@larimer.org with questions about clusters and outbreak-like situations.

 Facilities are encouraged to notify families of COVID-19 in their facility, especially when outbreaks occur. This template has been provided for your convenience.

 

All camps and child care facilities are required to have a written illness policy in place in accordance with 7.10.1, 6 CCR 1010-7, Rules and Regulations Governing the Health and Sanitation of Child Care Facilities in the State of Colorado. 

At a high COVID-19 Community Level, universal indoor masking is strongly recommended. There are certain settings and situations where masks are still required by federal and state entities, including the following situations:

  • Persons returning to in person activities on days 6-10 following isolation must wear a well-fitting mask over the mouth and nose while around others.
    • Anyone unable to wear a well-fitting mask over their mouth and nose should complete a full 10 days of isolation. Facilities are encouraged to make this common knowledge for parents and staff as well as create a mask-friendly environment so students do not experience unintended consequences (i.e. bullying) from following these requirements.  
    • Students should refrain from participating in extracurricular activities where masks cannot be safely worn during this period.

Individuals who were recently exposed to COVID-19 should take precautions, including masking, for 10 days while indoors and around others following their date of last exposure.

In situations where there is evidence of transmission within a classroom or other school setting (i.e. outbreaks) or high levels of community transmission, LCDHE strongly recommends universal masking along with other mitigation strategies such as ventilation, distancing, and testing.

The State of Colorado distributes KN95s and surgical masks to schools that have opted into the program at no cost. More information on that program can be found here: https://www.cde.state.co.us/safeschools/masks-coloradoschools

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is providing all K-12 Colorado schools (public, private, charter, and tribal) and early childhood education programs (e.g., center-based child care, family child care, Head Start, or other early learning, early intervention and preschool/pre-kindergarten programs delivered in schools, homes, or other settings) with FREE and voluntary resources to combat COVID-19 during the 2022-2023 school year. This extra layer of COVID-19 prevention will allow Colorado schools to detect infections early and get ahead of outbreaks, including asymptomatic spread, helping students to safely continue uninterrupted learning.

Visit their website to learn more.

Staff and students should self-screen at home prior to the school day using CDPHE's "How Sick is Too Sick?" guidance, and should NOT come to in person learning if experiencing any COVID-like symptoms: new onset of cough, fever, sore throat, chills, body aches, headaches, and/or nausea/vomiting/diarrhea. 

If symptoms develop while at school, facilities should follow CDPHE’s Addressing Symptoms at School guidance.

Ventilation in Schools and Childcare Programs

Ventilation in Schools

  • Recommend using 100% fresh air to ventilate when outside air temperatures are pleasant.
  • Run fans before and after school to flush buildings. 
  • Explore possible installation of Ultraviolet Air Disinfection equipment inside of HVAC equipment across the district and/or other HVAC upgrades to support healthy learning environments.