Summit High School reports outbreak with 22 students diagnosed with COVID-19

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SUMMIT COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — Summit High School has canceled in-person learning for two weeks after 22 students tested positive for COVID-19.

The Summit County Health Department said while the students attend school together, it believes the students contracted the virus through social gatherings and parties outside school.

The health department said it was aware of one party where students who tested positive for COVID-19 disobeyed health orders to quarantine and went to the party instead, exposing others.

“We are dismayed at the direct violation of the stay at home orders, and that parents permitted students to disregard their isolation and quarantine orders. This puts everyone in our community at risk. While these students may not become terribly ill, increased transmission of the virus puts vulnerable members of the community at grave risk.  Additionally, community members likely suffer the consequences of our rising case numbers if the state steps in and closes businesses in Summit County in order to mitigate the spread and disrupt in-person learning,” said Summit County Public Health Director Amy Wineland in a press release about the incident.

Many of the students that tested positive did not have classes together and the health department did not find proof of in-person transmission in school.

The health department said several students attended a party held the weekend of October 10-11 and others attended an out-of-town sporting event. The health department said a large party thrown on October 17 is believed to be “the primary catalyst for the spread of the virus among the high school students.”

In total, nine students that tested positive for COVID-19 attended the party. Of those nine students, two attended the party while under orders to quarantine because they were infected with COVID-19 and they were in their “infectious period.”

The health department said those infected at the party spread COVID-19 to other groups of students.

Summit High School temporarily suspended in-person learning and intends to bring students and teachers back to for in-person learning November 9. 

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