DENVER (KDVR) – Colorado teachers and students who get COVID will now be able to return to the classroom a bit sooner. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has updated the policies to align with current CDC guidelines.
The changes are in effect for students and staff returning to school Monday morning. This comes as schools are facing a staffing crisis and some are pushing a return to temporary remote learning.
Effective immediately, students and teachers with mild symptoms of COVID-19 can stop isolating after five days if symptoms improve and they do not have a fever for at least 24 hours. People are still advised to wear a mask for five additional days around others at school. Previous guidance required 10 days of isolation.
The CDC released similar guidelines for people in the general public in December.
“We are going to watch this very closely. Of course, we want to do everything possible to ensure consistent, in-person learning, we know in-person learning is the best place for our students and educators, but we also know that those safety mitigation strategies have to be in place, have to be followed with fidelity,” Colorado Education Association President Amie Baca-Oehlert said.
Some districts, like Adams=14, have already announced a return to virtual learning this week.
The Denver Classroom Teachers Association is calling for a similar shift, saying ‘enough is enough’ in a letter to the superintendent and calling on the district to return to temporary remote learning.
Education leaders say they will be adamant about mask-wearing, social distancing and ventilation to keep kids in the classroom.