Guidance released to help schools respond to COVID-19 cases and outbreaks

DENVER, July 30, 2020: The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) released guidance for detecting, reporting, and responding to cases and outbreaks of COVID-19 in schools.

The guidance provides specific steps a school should take in response to cases and outbreaks and outlines when classrooms, cohorts, and schools should close. It is a go-to manual for school leadership experiencing one or more cases of COVID-19. 

Schools are required to report all suspected and confirmed outbreaks to their local public health agency or CDPHE within four hours. Clinical labs and health care providers report cases to public health; however, schools also are encouraged to report single cases of COVID-19 to their local public health agency.

This case and outbreak guidance, the guidance for the fall opening of schools, CDE’s toolkit for the 2020-21 school year, and guidance from local public health agencies will provide districts with the information they need to start the school year in a way that makes sense for their local communities. CDPHE will update guidance as additional information becomes available. 

A shorter executive summary of the school case and outbreak guidance is linked here. Continue to stay up to date by visiting covid19.colorado.gov.

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Publicación de una guía para ayudar a las escuelas a responder antes casos y brotes de COVID-19

DENVER, 30 de julio de 2020: DENVER – El Departamento de Salud Pública y Medio Ambiente de Colorado (CDPHE, por sus siglas en inglés) publicó una guía para detectar, reportar y responder ante casos y brotes de COVID-19 en las escuelas.

La guía detalla las medidas específicas que las escuelas deben seguir para responder ante casos y brotes e indica cuándo los salones de clases, grupos fijos y escuelas deberían cerrar. Además, es un manual de referencia para la administración de la escuela cuando estén experimentando uno o más casos de COVID-19.  

Se requiere que las escuelas reporten todos los brotes sospechosos y confirmados a la agencia local de salud pública o al CDPHE en un lapso de 4 horas. Los laboratorios clínicos y los proveedores de atención médica reportan los casos al organismo de salud pública; sin embargo, también se insta a las escuelas a reportar los casos individuales de COVID-19 a la agencia local de salud pública.

Esta guía en relación con casos y brotes, la guía para la reapertura de las escuelas en otoño, el kit de herramientas del CDE para el año escolar 2020-21 y la guía de las agencias locales de salud pública le brindarán a los distritos escolares la información necesaria para comenzar el año escolar de una manera que sea apropiada para sus comunidades locales. El CDPHE actualizarán la guía a medida que se disponga de nueva información. 

Puede encontrar un resumen ejecutivo más breve de la guía para las escuelas en relación con casos y brotes en este enlace.

Manténgase informado en: covid19.colorado.gov.

Guidance released to help schools respond to COVID-19 cases and outbreaks

Governor Polis provides update on state’s response to COVID-19

DENVER – Governor Jared Polis today provided an update to Coloradans on the state’s response to COVID-19.

“Scientists and researchers are still learning new things every day about this novel virus and there is mounting evidence that persistent damage can occur to the lungs, brain and heart. So I continue to encourage my fellow Coloradans to do their part to slow the spread of the virus for the sake of our own lives, the lives of our loved ones and our economy,” said Governor Jared Polis. “Wear masks, wash your hands, avoid large-scale gatherings and make smart decisions so we can crush this virus.”

Governor Polis began today’s briefing by honoring the life of his former colleague and civil rights hero Congressman John Lewis. 

Governor Jared Polis announced today that in addition to providing medical-grade masks to public school teachers this fall, the state will also provide masks for private school teachers across the state. The state announced a specific partnership with the Colorado Archdioceses of Denver to provide 2,000 masks per week to their 48 schools. 

Governor Polis also announced that the Attorney General’s Office has issued a cease-and-desist letter to Live Entertainment, the company responsible for the dangerous, large-scale events in Weld County this past weekend.

The governor highlighted a variety of the potential long-term health effects that people who have contracted COVID-19 are seeing including damage to the lungs, brain and heart. The governor implored Coloradans to continue protecting themselves and others by practicing social distancing requirements, wearing masks and washing hands.

The governor announced that IKEA is making one of the largest contributions to date to the Colorado COVID Relief Fund, nearly $1 million. The company is calculating the unemployment claims submitted by their employees and donating that money back to the relief fund. To date, the fund has raised more than $22 million, and distributed $16.4 million to more than 750 organizations serving Coloradans in all 64 counties. On August 8, the fund will be accepting a sixth round of grants. The fund will be accepting tiered applications for coordinated organizations, up to $100,000. The governor encouraged Coloradans to donate and help meet the needs of all Coloradans, and also encouraged organizations that are in need of funding to apply for funds in round six.

Governor Polis provides update on state’s response to COVID-19

New modeling data from the Colorado School of Public Health shows decline in social distancing and increasing hospitalizations

If Colorado continues on its estimated trajectory, ICU capacity may be exceeded in early September

DENVER, July 16, 2020: The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment received additional modeling results from an expert group of public health scientists. The current projection based on recent hospitalization trends is a stark contrast to previous reports, showing a sharp curve upward as cases and hospitalizations have increased over the last few weeks. The modeling team estimates that this is due to a decline in social distancing in Colorado in May and June. 

Governor Jared Polis and State Epidemiologist, Dr. Rachel Herlihy, presented the information from the latest Colorado model report today. All modeling reports are available on the Colorado School of Public Health’s COVID-19 website. 

The latest modeling report provides projections based on COVID-19 hospital census data to characterize the current status of the COVID-19 epidemic in Colorado, and the collective impact of efforts to reduce the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. It also provides projections based on various policy scenarios around social distancing, mask-wearing, and case detection and containment. The models are based on Colorado data and assumptions.

Key findings from the report:

  • COVID-19 hospitalizations have been increasing since late June. 
  • The estimated effective reproductive number has increased over the past two weeks and is now at the highest estimated value since late March. Social distancing has declined since May.
  • Collectively, these data indicate that the trajectory of SARS-CoV-2 transmission in Colorado has changed over the past two months, from a curve of declining infections in May to a curve of increasing infections (see Figure 3 in the report). The most recent model results suggest the rate of increase has changed from slow growth to a more rapid increase in cases. NOTE: There is still uncertainty about the rate of increase. The estimates will be more certain as we track the rate of increase over the next week.
  • If Colorado remains on the current estimated trajectory, it is expected that intensive care unit (ICU) capacity will be exceeded in early September. If social distancing continues to decline, Colorado could exceed hospital capacity in late August. Under these scenarios, without additional interventions or changes in social distancing, demand could greatly exceed hospital capacity. 
  • If social distancing is increased or other interventions to reduce transmission are implemented, the projected growth in infections and hospital demand is slower and, depending on the efficacy of these interventions, ICU capacity is reached in the fall or not at all.

The Colorado School of Public Health (ColoradoSPH) assembled the expert group that works with the state on modeling projections. The group includes modeling scientists at the ColoradoSPH and the University of Colorado School of Medicine at the CU Anschutz Medical Campus, as well as experts from the University of Colorado Boulder, University of Colorado Denver, and Colorado State University. 

The state will continue to review data and model findings as the pandemic continues to inform future policy decisions.  Continue to stay up to date by visiting covid19.colorado.gov.

New modeling data from the Colorado School of Public Health shows decline in social distancing and increasing hospitalizations

Wireless emergency alerts scheduled for Friday morning to announce mask order

Centennial, Colo., July 16, 2020: On July 17 at 9 a.m. a wireless emergency alert (WEA) will be issued to all mobile devices in the State of Colorado announcing the Statewide mandatory mask order. The alert will read “A statewide mandatory mask order is now in effect for Colorado. COVID19.colorado.gov.” The mandatory Statewide mask order goes into effect at midnight on July 16, 2020, and is in effect for 30 days.

WEAs will be issued at the State borders and Denver International Airport to ensure that all individuals entering the State are aware of the mandatory mask mandate. These alerts are scheduled to occur through Sunday, July 19, 2020.

Governor Jared Polis signed Executive Order D 2020 138 requiring people in Colorado and all individuals 11 years and older to wear a face covering over their noses and mouths:

  • When entering or moving within any public indoor space.
  • While using or waiting to use public (buses, light-rail) or non-personal (taxis, car services, ride-shares) transportation services.

Additional details on the mask order are posted on the state’s website.

Continue to stay up to date by visiting covid19.colorado.gov.

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Alertas de emergencia móvil programadas para el viernes en la mañana para anunciar la orden de uso obligatorio de tapabocas

Centennial, Colorado, 16 de julio de 2020: El 17 de julio a las 9 a.m. se enviará una alerta de emergencia móvil (WEA, por sus siglas en inglés) a todos los aparatos móviles en el estado de Colorado con la finalidad de anunciar la orden estatal de uso obligatorio de tapabocas. La alerta emitirá el mensaje “Una orden de uso obligatorio de tapabocas a nivel estatal se encuentra vigente en Colorado. COVID19.colorado.gov”. La orden estatal de uso obligatorio de tapabocas entra en vigor el 16 de julio de 2020 a la medianoche y seguirá en vigor por los próximos 30 días.

Las alertas de emergencia móviles se enviarán en la frontera del estado y en el Aeropuerto Internacional de Denver, con el fin de asegurar que todas las personas que entren al estado estén conscientes de la orden de uso obligatorio de tapabocas. Las alertas están programadas hasta el domingo 19 de julio de 2020.

El Gobernador Jared Polis firmó la Orden Ejecutiva D 2020 138, la cual establece que todas las personas de 11 años y mayores en Colorado usen tapabocas que les cubra la nariz y boca:

  • Al entrar o desplazarse dentro de cualquier ambiente cerrado público.
  • Durante el uso o mientras están esperando usar servicios de transporte público (autobuses, tren ligero) o taxis, servicios de vehículos, viajes compartidos.

Puede obtener detalles adicionales acerca de la orden de uso de tapabocas en la página web del gobierno estatal.

Manténgase informado en: covid19.colorado.gov

Wireless emergency alerts scheduled for Friday morning to announce mask order