CENTENNIAL, Colo. (KDVR) — All students in fifth grade classes at the Cherry Creek School District’s Willow Creek Elementary have been asked to quarantine at home after a COVID-19 outbreak linked to a school trip, the Tri-County Health Department said Wednesday.
The trip linked to the outbreak was to Camp Cheley in Estes Park from Sept 29-Oct. 1.
The quarantine for students should last 10 days, Tri-County said. Based on the most recent positive case report, the health department said the kids should stay at home through Oct. 15.
However, the school’s fall break is the following week. The earliest a quarantined student would be back in the classroom is Oct. 25.
If a student does test positive, their quarantine would extend to 10 days from the first symptoms or the date of the test, whichever is earlier. That would potentially keep them under quarantine into the fall break.
The quarantined students should be monitored for COVID-19 symptoms, Tri-County said. If there are symptoms, students and parents can get tested for free through COVIDCheck Colorado. All students are advised to get tested about a week into quarantine in case they are asymptomatic, the health department said.
How to protect your kids from COVID-19 outbreaks
Recent data from the American Academy of Pediatrics show children accounted for 26.7% of COVID-19 cases at the end of September. In Colorado, people age 0-19 make up 25.49% of cases, according to the latest state data.
Health experts say with the rising COVID rate among kids, now is a good time for parents to revisit mask-wearing and social-distancing expectations with their kids.
“We want kids to be able to be kids. We want to have them go and play and join in occasions, but I think we need to continue to remember COVID is out there. It does exist,” said Laura-Anne Cleveland, associate chief nursing officer at Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children.
Dr. Nick Krebs, a pediatrician in Centennial, has seen children impacted by COVID outbreaks in schools. He says parents should consider the risks when sending kids into large group settings.
“I think it’s always good to ask questions of the school or of the organization your child’s going on a trip or attending. Are they screening kids? Do we know there’s not going to be other sick kids there?” Krebs said.
Krebs said parents may want to consider getting a COVID test for their child before they attend a group function.