Two COVID-19 cases moves school district to remote learning

A student parking lot sits empty on a school day as Salida High School went remote Tuesday morning due to a case of COVID-19 connected to the school. Salida School District made the decision to put all Salida schools in remote learning mode for the rest of the week.


Salida School District moved to remote learning Tuesday after two positive COVID-19 cases prompted the action. One student and one staff member have tested positive in the school district.  

“The cases appear to be unrelated at this time. Additional information will be shared as it becomes available,” the district wrote in a press release.

Salida High School was put on a remote learning Tuesday morning, after it received word from Chaffee County Public Health that a case was identified related to the school.

Shortly after 7:30 a.m. a message went out on the Salida School District app to SHS parents and students, directing students not to come to school.

All SHS students who rode the bus were released per parent permission or picked up.

By 12:30 p.m. the decision had been made to dismiss classes early and shift to remote learning for the rest of the week.

The district decided to move to remote learning for the rest of the week, based on protocol and discussions made with the district’s COVID-19 response team. 

“We have planned and prepared for positive cases in the schools for months and have a strong response team composed of school leaders and nurses, medical community, and public health,” the district stated. 

Lunch was served to students before they were released.  

To minimize the risk of further infection buses did not run, and parents had to gather their children at each school.  

Students were asked to take home all remote learning materials.  

All after school activities have been cancelled for the remainder of the week.

Superintendent David Blackburn said the early dismissal went well at Longfellow Elementary School and Salida Middle School.

He said the district planned and prepared for this possibility during the summer and things had gone as well as they had  hoped.

The goal, however, is always to get back to in-person learning he said.

Chaffee County Public Health issued a letter to parents saying those students and staff members who were in close contact with the affected person would be notified and those students and staff members would be instructed to quarantine for 14 days from their last exposure.

Students whose parents are not notified of close contact do not need to observe quarantine or isolation protocols, but are asked to continue wearing masks, limiting social interactions, staying home when sick, washing hands and avoiding crowded indoor spaces.

Public health is conducting contact tracing while students remain at home this week to determine if other schools and students may have been impacted, Andrea Carlstrom, public health director, wrote in an email.

Because case investigation and exposure notification is complex, there will be times that the entire school district, schools and classrooms may have to pivot to online learning until we know more about the risk of spread, the school district explained. Some or all may have to quarantine for 14 days while others do not depending on risk.

Parents are asked to monitor children for symptoms. 

If symptoms consistent with COVID-19 develop public health advises isolating, having your child tested, keeping the child home from school and avoiding other activities around other people, notifying the school and seeking medical care (call your doctor ahead of time)

It is not recommended to test students who were not in close contact unless they become symptomatic.

Community and parents are invited to download the Salida School District app where the Salida Schools communicate changes first. 

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