PSD Protocols for COVID-19

Jan. 10 update to guidelines

As the considerable rise in Omicron cases impacts our county and schools, public health guidance continues to change. In this update, we will address what staffing shortages may mean for district operations; public health changes to guidelines for quarantine, isolation and exemption from quarantine; and a county health department change to contact tracing COVID cases. Please see this Jan. 10 news item for details about the latest updates to guidelines. 

 

2021 protocols 

Masks are required for students, staff and visitors in PSD schools and buildings. Masks are not required outdoors. Staff are required to wear masks even when students are not in school. 

 

What happens with COVID cases in PSD? 

There may be cases and outbreaks in PSD that will lead to shifts from in-person to remote education, health department-mandated quarantines for close contacts and possible, temporary closure of individual schools. PSD closely consults with the Larimer County Department of Health and Environment (LCDHE) and monitors the agency’s COVID-19 community data dashboard, as well as PSD's COVID-19 dashboards, when making decisions. 

PSD follows current health guidance for K-12 schools from public health agencies. 


Testing sites for minors

  • Larimer County testing sites
    • Must be 5 or older to be tested
    • PCR tests (takes 2-3 days typically to get results) 
    • Scheduling a head of time is recommended but walk-ups can be taken if space allows 
  • Youth Clinic / Pediatric Urgent Care of Northern Colorado
    • PCR tests, Binax (antigen), and Abbott ID Now (molecular rapid test), time to results depends on test taken
  • UCHealth
    • PCR tests, results take a few days
    • Having an appointment beforehand is needed
  • Banner Health
    • You cannot walk-up, appointment and phone screening is required
  • Walgreens
    •  No-cost testing for ages 3+
    • Schedule an appointment online 
  • Many physicians or pediatricians' offices will test for their patients if they’re symptomatic or have been in contact with someone confirmed to have COVID-19

 

Where to order free at-home test kits:

 

Processes when staff or students are exposed to or test positive for COVID


Parents, guardians, staff and students should notify their school or supervisor if there is a positive COVID case or possible exposure. PSD and LCDHE work together on contact tracing and investigations to determine the appropriate response such as quarantine or if a class needs to shift to remote learning. Learn more about PSD contact tracing and investigations >> 
 

Quarantine protocols 

Quarantine vs. Isolation

Quarantine means stay home  

  • For anyone who is a close contact of someone with COVID-19; health department issues legal orders 
  • 5 days from last date of exposure in most instances  
  • Cannot participate in PSD or non-PSD athletics, activities, etc. 
  • When PSD COVID-19 Response Teams conduct contact tracing investigations, they submit names of all possible close contacts of a case to LCDHE. LCDHE will verify whether anyone on the list has been fully vaccinated. Those who have a verified vaccination status will not have to quarantine.  

Isolation means stay away from other people, including in your household 

  • For anyone diagnosed with COVID-19; health department issues legal orders 
  • 5 days from the date symptoms started until symptoms improve and at least 24 hours fever-free without using fever-reducing medicines; can return to activities on 6th day 
  • If no symptoms, isolate 5 days from date you were tested, returning to activities on 6th day 
  • Cannot participate in PSD or non-PSD athletics, activities, etc. 
  • Testing is not required or recommended to leave isolation because it is possible to test positive for up to 90 days after recovering, even though you are no longer able to spread the virus to others 

     
    When asymptomatic close contacts cannot return early  

    The option to end quarantine and return to PSD classes and athletics/extracurricular activities early only applies to cases where a student may access a class and/or activity in-person. 

    • In elementary schools, all students in a classroom are shifted to remote education for 5 days from the last date of exposure to a COVID-19 case. During this time, the educational option is remote learning. Students may not “test back” into class early because the classroom will remain closed to all until a date communicated by the school. 
    •  If an elementary classroom is open to in-person learning, an elementary student could be cleared to complete quarantine early and return to class. E.g. Student is identified as a close contact of a COVID-19 case in their household but there is no case at school, so the class isn’t shifted to remote learning.   

     

    Return to learn guidance

    For students and staff returning to work or school in PSD following a positive COVID-19 symptom screen, PSD follows this Return to Learn guidance for K-12 schools. 

    A group of nurses and PSD staff evaluated the guidance that outlines when staff and students can return to work and school.

    Note: This guidance is NOT intended for cases or close contacts of COVID-19. A confirmed COVID-19 case or close contact should follow public health isolation or quarantine instructions for return to school/work. 


    Major symptoms 

    • Feeling feverish, having chills, temperature of 100.4 F or greater 
    • New or worsening cough
    • Loss of taste or smell 
    • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

    Major symptom response:   

    • If symptoms resolve within 24 hours of onset follow regular return to school illness policies. In all cases, to return student must have no fever, vomiting, or diarrhea in prior 24 hours without use of medication.

    • If symptoms DO NOT resolve within 24 hours, either:

      • Follow home isolation for 5 days following symptom onset.  To return, individuals must have 24 hours diarrhea, vomiting or fever free without use of medications AND all other symptoms resolved or improved before returning to school on or after day 6.

      • Get a PCR or molecular COVID-19 test and provide documented lab results to the school. 

        • If the test is negative, return to school once symptoms have resolved or are improving AND 24 hours vomiting, diarrhea, and fever free without use of medications before returning to school.

        • If positive, follow home isolation for 5 days following symptoms onset.  To return, individuals must have 24 hours diarrhea, vomiting or fever free without use of medications AND all other symptoms resolved or improved before returning to school on or after day 6.  OR

      • Take an at-home COVID-19 test.  Write directly on the card (not on a label added to the card) the person's name, date and time test was administered.  Submit photo of the negative result to the school health office. 

        • If the test is negative, return to school if symptoms are resolved or improving AND 24 hours vomiting, diarrhea, and fever free without use of medications before returning to school. 

        • If positive, follow home isolation for 5 days following symptoms onset.  To return, individuals must have 24 hours diarrhea, vomiting or fever free without use of medications AND all other symptoms resolved or improved before returning to school on or after day 6. 

      • Symptoms must be improved and not interfere with learning or effective mask wearing. Individuals must have 24 hours vomiting, diarrhea, and fever free without use of medications before returning to school.  Those with a medical mask exemption who do not test or have a positive result must remain out of school the full 10 days, returning on day 11.


    Minor symptoms 

    • Sore throat 
    • Runny nose or congestion 
    • Muscle or body aches 
    • Headache 
    • Fatigue 
    • Nausea, vomiting 
    • Diarrhea

    Minor symptom response: 

    • If symptoms resolve within 24 hours of onset, follow regular return to school illness policies.
    • If symptoms resolve within 48 hours of onset, follow regular return to school illness policies.
    • In all cases, to return student must have no fever, vomiting, or diarrhea in prior 24 hours without use of medication.
    • If symptoms DO NOT resolve within 48 hours, either: 
      • Follow home isolation for 5 days following symptoms onset.  To return, individuals must have 24 hours diarrhea, vomiting or fever free without use of medications AND all other symptoms resolved or improved before returning to school on or after day 6.

      • Get a PCR or molecular COVID-19 test and provide documented lab results to the school. 

        • If the test is negative, return to school once symptoms have resolved or are improving AND 24 hours vomiting, diarrhea, and fever free without use of medications before returning to school.

        • If positive, follow home isolation for 5 days following symptoms onset.  To return, individuals must have 24 hours diarrhea, vomiting or fever free without use of medications AND all other symptoms resolved or improved before returning to school on or after day 6.  OR

      • Take an at-home COVID-19 test.  Write directly on the card (not on a label added to the card) the person's name, date and time test was administered.  Submit photo of the negative result to the school health office. 

        • If the test is negative, return to school if symptoms are resolved or improving AND 24 hours vomiting, diarrhea, and fever free without use of medications before returning to school. 

        • If positive, follow home isolation for 5 days following symptoms onset.  To return, individuals must have 24 hours diarrhea, vomiting or fever free without use of medications AND all other symptoms resolved or improved before returning to school on or after day 6.  

      • Symptoms must be improved and not interfere with learning or effective mask wearing. Individuals must have 24 hours vomiting, diarrhea, and fever free without use of medications before returning to school.  Those with a medical mask exemption who do not test or have a positive result must remain out of school the full 10 days, returning on day 11.

    If there are questions about when a student can return to school, the school nurse or PSD health staff will make that determination.