COVID-19 Updates

Resources:  

COVID-19 Symptoms

CDC Guidelines for those who have been fully vaccinated

CDC Guidelines for those who have not been fully vaccinated

CDC Requirements for masks on public transportation

CDC Guidance for COVID-19 Prevention in K-12 Schools

Chaffee County COVID-19 Dashboard
Chaffee County Public Health COVID-19 Information - includes local vaccination availability.

Salida School District COVID-19 Plan

From our partners at Chaffee County Public Health
Chaffee County Public Health
448 East 1st Street · Suite 137 · Salida, CO · Phone 719-539-4510 ·Fax 719-539-7197

On behalf of Chaffee County Public Health (CCPH), we want to welcome all of you back to
school for the 2022/2023 school year. We hope you had a healthy, fun and rejuvenating
summer.

Chaffee County Public Health has always advocated for Salida School District to follow the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Colorado Department of Public Health
and Environment’s (CDPHE) COVID-19 school guidance, while also taking into account their
own unique schools and communities.

The new school guidance from CDPHE takes a “routine disease control” approach to
COVID-19. This is something that CCPH fully supports at this stage in the pandemic. Routine
disease control means that in a school setting, it is no longer recommended to do individual
contact tracing and case investigation. Instead, schools should focus on encouraging all
individuals to stay home when sick and test when symptomatic. Schools will monitor for
increases in illness and absenteeism that may signify an outbreak of COVID-19. If an outbreak
is detected, schools can implement a variety of mitigation measures, such as masking, testing,
increasing ventilation, and avoiding crowded indoor activities.

Similar to much of the last school year, parents will no longer be notified every time there is a
positive case in a classroom, a grade, or an extracurricular group. Instead, school nurses will
choose to notify certain groups of people when they notice trends or outbreaks of illness. This
is how other communicable diseases are treated.

School nurses will not test for COVID-19 at schools as much as they have in the past several
years. CCPH is providing the schools with rapid tests that can be distributed to families to take
care of their own testing needs. In some cases, school nurses will test individuals or groups of
individuals, but they will decide that on a case-by-case basis. Staff and students should be
tested at home for COVID-19 if they have any symptoms of the illness.

Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 will still be asked to follow CDC guidance to stay
home in isolation for at least 5 days, followed by an additional 5 days of mask wearing. For
close contacts (such as a positive case within the household), individuals should wear a mask
for 10 days and test on day 5. These recommendations are the personal responsibility of each
individual and family. While our nurses will no longer be tracking every single case and close
contact, it is important that everyone in the school system do their part to keep those around
them safe.

Every individual's COVID-19 risk is different, as is every individual's personal tolerance for risk.
If you, or your children, are high risk or have a lower tolerance for risk, please know you’re
supported to continue to wear masks in schools. However, at this time universal masking is not
recommended. If that changes, we will work with the schools on a solution that makes the most
sense for our community.

It’s hard to believe this is the 4th school year affected by COVID-19. While that may have
sounded impossible when schools first shut down in March of 2020, at this point we all realize
that COVID-19 is something that will likely be part of our lives for many years to come.

The good news is that at this stage in the pandemic, we have vaccinations available for all
individuals 6 months and older. And while the vaccinations do not prevent infection as we had
once hoped, they do continue to offer incredible protection against severe disease and
hospitalization. As a reminder, everyone 6 months and older is recommended to be vaccinated
with a primary series (two doses), 5 years and older should have one booster, and 50 years and
older should have two boosters. And for anyone who is immunocompromised, there is the
possibility that it is appropriate to have 5 doses. Beyond vaccinations we also have promising
treatments for our more at-risk population.

If the last few years have taught us anything, it’s that the future is unknown, and we are a strong
and resilient community. CCPH is incredibly thankful to all of the staff, students, teachers, and
families in the Salida School District for their hard work, positive attitudes, and flexibility. We are
very hopeful this school year will feel much more normal.

Sincerely,
Andrea Carlstrom
Public Health Director 
Chaffee County Public Health 

Recent COVID-19 Communications

3/2/2022 School Transportation Mask Mandate Lifted
02/10/22 Omicron and schools FAQ.pdf
01/01/22 - Back to School from CCPH - Spring Semester
10/28/21 - Extension of Mask Mandate
10/19/21 - Community Letter from School Board
10/19/21 - Mask Mandate Mandate Reinstated

9/22/21- Mask Mandate Expired
9/8/21 - 14-Day Mask Mandate for All Schools
08/12/21 - Community Letter from David Blackburn 

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