PSD Protocols for COVID-19

What happens with COVID-19 cases in PSD? 

We anticipate there will 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. Each these things will likely happen with little notice. 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 about which educational phase to operate in. 

PSD follows current health guidance for K-12 schools from public health agencies. Health and Safety Flier - information in the text on the page.


Testing sites for minors in Larimer County

  • 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

 

Processes when staff or students are exposed to or test positive for COVID-19  


Parents, guardians, staff and students should notify their school or supervisor if there is a positive COVID-19 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 during second semester

Quarantine vs. Isolation

Quarantine means stay home  

  • For anyone who is a close contact of someone with COVID-19; health department issues legal orders 
  • 10 days from last date of exposure in most instances  
  • 14 days from last date of exposure if case involves a COVID-19 variant  
  • Cannot participate in PSD or non-PSD athletics, activities, etc. 
  • New for second semester: When PSD COVID-19 Response Teams conduct contact tracing investigations, they will 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 
  • 10 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 11th day 
  • If no symptoms, isolate 10 days from date you were tested, returning to activities on 11th 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 


PSD protocols for quarantines and voluntary option to ‘test out’ early, meeting public health criteria

Beginning March 22, as allowed by county and state public health guidance, PSD staff and students can voluntarily end their quarantines early if they meet strict criteria and are approved by PSD COVID-19 Response Teams to do so. 

This change also aligns with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s recent loosening of organized sports guidelines. Additionally, the Larimer County Department of Health and Environment has reported that more students who test positive for COVID-19 but are asymptomatic have been discovered because they were tested as part of the process to end their quarantines early at other schools in the county that have already implemented this protocol. 


When asymptomatic close contacts can leave quarantine early 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention accepts two alternative options for quarantine: 

  • Must be asymptomatic 
  • 7-day option: if no symptoms, a person may quarantine for 7 days and return to normal activities on day 8 if a negative test was collected within the previous 48 hours (on day 6 or later). 
  • 10-day option: if it has been 10 days since a person was exposed and they do not have symptoms, they can return to normal activities on day 11 without a test. 
  • Test negative on any (PCR, BinaxNOW, Abbott ID NOW, etc.) COVID-19 test 
  •  Provide respective PSD school or department COVID-19 Response Team with written documentation of negative test results (including provider name, date, time and result) 
  • Obtain approval from PSD COVID-19 Response Team before ending quarantine early and returning to school or work. 
  • If you would like to pursue this option for your student, please contact your school to talk with a member of the school COVID-19 Response Team.    
  • Note: Symptomatic close contacts of a case must either isolate for 10 days from symptom onset (if they test negative after symptom onset) or quarantine for 14 days. Those with illness symptoms should follow CDPHE’s Return to Learn guidance for schools. 

 
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 10 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.  
  • If a case involves a COVID-19 variant (see Quarantine vs. Isolation for more).  

 

Return to learn guidance

For students and staff returning to work or school in PSD following a positive COVID-19 symptom screen, PSD follows the CDPHE Return to Learn guidance for K-12 schools. The Spanish version is available here: Español CDPHE Return to Learn Guidance. 

A group of nurses and PSD staff evaluated the updated guidance, which is now in effect and 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. 

Critical symptoms 

  • Loss of taste or smell 

Critical symptom response:  

  • Follow home isolation for 10 days following symptom onset AND be 24 hours fever free without use of fever-reducing meds before returning to school.
  • COVID-19 test recommended. 


Major symptoms 

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

Major symptom response:  

  • If symptoms resolve within 24 hours of onset and stay resolved an additional 24 hours, return to school. (48 hours total) 
  • If symptoms DO NOT resolve within 24 hours, either: 
    • Follow home isolation for 10 days following symptom onset AND 24 hours fever free without use of fever-reducing meds before returning to school. 
    • Get a polymerase chain reaction, or PCR, COVID-19 test. If test is negative, return to school once symptom-free for 24 hours. If positive, follow home isolation for 10 days following symptom onset AND 24 hours fever free without use of fever-reducing meds before returning to school. 


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 and stay resolved an additional 24 hours, return to school. (48 hours total) 
  • If symptoms resolve within 48 hours of onset and stay resolved an additional 24 hours, return to school. (72 hours total) 
  • If symptoms DO NOT resolve within 48 hours, either: 
    • Follow home isolation for 10 days following symptom onset AND 24 hours fever free without use of fever-reducing meds before returning to school. 
    • Get a polymerase chain reaction, or PCR, COVID-19 test. If test is negative, return to school once symptom-free for 24 hours. If positive, follow home isolation for 10 days following symptom onset AND 24 hours fever free without use of fever-reducing meds before returning to school. 

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