PSD COVID-19 Response Teams and Larimer County work together
Each PSD department and school has a COVID-19 Response Team that works in partnership with the Larimer County Department of Health and Environment (LCDHE). Every COVID-19 case investigation is unique and may require slightly varied responses.
Change to contact tracing effective Jan. 10, 2022
Please see this letter that the health department asked PSD to share with our communities (Español LCDHE letter). LCDHE has recommended that all schools discontinue contact tracing and quarantines for routine classroom exposures. Contact tracing is no longer possible the way we’ve been doing it because of test result delays, an increase in the county’s case volume and our districts’ need to have staff focus on filling shortages to prioritize in-person learning. High-risk exposures, as defined by the county health department, will continue to be traced. PSD will discontinue routine contact tracing effective immediately. Case information continues to be available on the PSD COVID-19 Data Dashboards.
PSD works with the LCDHE to conduct contact tracing investigations when there is a COVID case in high-risk settings. At this time, routine classroom exposures are not being traced.
- LCDHE will prioritize contact tracing and exposure investigation efforts
for high risk settings (athletics, choir, wind/brass instruments, etc.)
- Although quarantines are not anticipated for routine classroom exposures
where social distancing and masking are closely observed, LCDHE may quarantine cohorts
where high spread is observed or anticipated.
- PSD will notify families when there is a classroom/cohort exposure, even if no quarantines occur. The entire school community will not be notified.
- Case information is available on the COVID-19 data web page.
You should be exempt from quarantine if you are one of the following:
Have completed a full COVID-19 vaccination series AND have received a booster dose, OR
Be 5-17 years old and 14 days past their second dose of the Pfizer vaccine OR
Are 14 days past and still within 5 months from their second Pfizer or Moderna (ineligible for booster at this time) OR
Are 14 days past and still within 2 months of their Johnson and Johnson dose (ineligible for booster at this time).
Have a confirmed positive test result for COVID-19 in the last 90 days.
- **Staff who are currently eligible for a booster and have not yet received it have until February 1st to avoid quarantine. After February 1st, all those who are eligible and not boosted will be required to quarantine.**
With masks, it's expected that fewer people will be quarantined. Quarantines may still occur due to exposures due high-risk activities (athletics, performing arts, preK). There may be other instances where these may occur.
What is contact tracing?
Disease investigations are an important way that public health officials can help prevent the spread of disease in a community. When someone tests positive for a reportable condition, such as COVID-19, that test result is reported to state or local public health officials. Local public health staff receive that report and work with the patient to identify any close contacts (those who were within six feet for more than 15 minutes with a case) who may have been exposed to the disease and could become ill. This process is known as contact tracing. Learn more on the LCDHE website >>
Public health staff then notify exposed individuals (contacts) of their potential exposure as rapidly and sensitively as possible. Contacts are provided with education, information and support to:
- Understand their risk and monitor themselves for illness
- Separate themselves from others who have not been exposed.
- Understand they could spread the infection to others even if they do not feel ill.
Who is a close contact?
- Less than six feet for cumulative 15 minutes or more in 24 hours
- PSD will maximize social distancing whenever possible
- The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment allows schools to seat students between three to six feet apart.
LCDHE, PSD and confidentiality
- Answer the call: It’s imperative that families, students and staff answer the health department’s call and share timely, accurate information to help minimize outbreaks in our community. LCDHE and PSD maintain confidentiality.
- Sharing student information with LCDHE for contact tracing investigations: PSD may need to share some student information requested by LCDHE staff completing contact tracing investigations that includes but isn't limited to parent/guardian name, parent/guardian phone number(s), student name, student grade, student school of attendance, and student date of birth. PSD will never share parent/guardian or student social security numbers. All disclosures are made in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.
- PSD protects the release of student information under The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, or FERPA .However, PSD can release certain student information to Larimer County Department of Health and Environment or other public health agencies without parental consent if the disclosure is in connection with a health or safety emergency and the public health agency's knowledge of the information is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other individuals, according to FERPA.
Communications and data transparency
- Evaluating on a case-by-case basis, PSD works with LCDHE to communicate important information to targeted staff and/or parents and guardians (i.e. LCDHE directly notifies people if they are identified as close contacts and need to quarantine). Case communications will not be sent to the entire school community each time; instead, we will work to communicate directly with impacted groups.
- PSD and LCDHE staff keep the identity of students and staff who test positive for or are believed to be exposed to COVID-19 confidential.
- Data transparency: PSD's COVID-19 data dashboards display data entered by COVID-19 response teams and are kept up to date as possible on the PSD COVID-19 Data and School Information web page.
- PSD works with the Larimer County Department of Health and Environment to track outbreaks at schools. PSD and LCDHE follow the state health department's definitions for outbreaks, and school outbreak statuses are posted on the PSD COVID-19 Data and School Information web page. Individual letters are not sent to parents/guardians when there is an outbreak.