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El Paso County Public Health’s (EPCPH) updated COVID-19 School and Child Care Guidance

In addition to the EPCPH requirements, we will continue to implement and expect layers of mitigation practices. We ask all staff and students to:

  • Follow the morning screening checklist prior to leaving for school

  • Stay home if you are symptomatic and/or not feeling well  

  • Practice proper hand hygiene

  • Conduct activities outdoors as much as possible

We will continue to maximize space in our schools and create social distancing as much as possible. We will also continue using various techniques and cleaning supplies to ensure schools are clean and sanitized. The district’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems will follow HVAC measures toincrease air ventilation.

EPCPH Requirements

Face Coverings

  • Masks are highly encouraged in our buildings, but not required, except for schools located on the U.S. Air Force Academy (USAFA). This guidance is being superseded on Sept. 27, 2021.

  • Starting Monday, Sept. 27, 2021, masking will be required for all students in preschool through 12th grade while in indoor classroom settings or other large group indoor gatherings. Read more.

  • Douglass Valley Elementary School and Air Academy High School will be following the mask mandate from USAFA and will be implementing the mask requirement for all individuals when indoors, regardless of vaccination status. As partners of USAFA, we are obligated to align with their policies. 

  • Per a federal mandate, face coverings ARE REQUIRED for those aged two and older on all public transportation regardless of vaccination status. This includes drivers and passengers on school buses unless the bus driver is riding in the school bus alone.

Isolations

  • Students and staff who test positive for COVID-19 are required to isolate until all three of these criteria have been met:

  • 10 days have passed from the symptom onset date, or date of positive test if asymptomatic or symptom onset date is unknown.

  • AND fever free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medicine,

  • AND improvement in symptoms. 

Quarantines

  • Students and staff identified as a close contact of someone who tested positive for COVID-19 are required to quarantine for a minimum of 10 days.

    • Close contacts are defined asindividuals who were within three-feet of the individual in a typical classroom setting for greater than 15 minutes total (cumulative over 24 hours).

    • Exposed individuals will complete the quarantine period starting from the last day of exposure to the confirmed case unless they are fully vaccinated.

    • If the exposed individual cannot isolate themselves from the confirmed case(e.g., household members), then the last day of exposure starts on the day the caseis no longer infectious (a minimum of 10 days).

    • If exposed individuals develop symptoms during the quarantine period, they will follow the isolation guidelines or finish the quarantine, whichever is the longer time period.

  • Close contacts who are fully vaccinated (two weeks after final vaccine dose) OR have tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 90 days are NOT required to quarantine.

    • An individual is not considered fully vaccinated until two weeks have passed from their second vaccine dose (if Pfizer or Moderna) or single vaccine dose (if Johnson & Johnson).

  • A student or staff member is not required to quarantine if:

    1. Both the COVID-19 positive person and exposed person are wearing masks,

    2. The exposed person is vaccinated, or

    3. The exposed person is within 90 days of a positive COVID-19 test.

Outbreaks in Schools/Buildings

  • Outbreaks must still be reported to EPCPH, but only if five or more probable or positive COVID-19 cases are reported. At least one case must have a positive molecular amplification test or a positive antigen test from a respiratory specimen.

  • Every outbreak will be unique and will be handled on a case-by-case basis in conjunction with EPCPH.

  • EPCPH will name outbreaks for the school, not cohort or activity, regardless of whether they are identified in a class/cohort, school, or extracurricular activity associated with the school. Subsequent cases will be included under the current active outbreak. Investigation may still occur at the cohort level.

Contact Tracing

  • Contact tracing will be performed by the school/district so they can be safely and quickly quarantined.

EPCPH Recommendations

Facial Coverings

  • While not required, facial coverings are supported and encouraged.

Vaccinations

  • While not required, all staff and students ages 12 and older are encouraged to get vaccinated.