Updated COVID-19 School Guidance & Visitor Guidelines Reminder

Updated COVID-19 School Guidance (8.5.21)

As a reminder, here are the COVID-19 Visitor Guidelines.

In the letter from July 30, 2021 found here, Susan Wheelan, El Paso County Public Health Director, outlines current information from our department, including our recommendation for mask usage.

As El Paso County Public Health (EPCPH) works with schools and child cares to keep students healthy and engaged in learning during this school year, public health recommendations will remain based upon the current scientific understanding of COVID-19, in addition to local data and trends. EPCPH understands the importance and benefits of in-person learning, and our priority remains keeping students, families, staff, and the broader community safe. We deeply appreciate all of the hard work and collaborative efforts of our school and child care partners to help create a safe learning environment and put in place prevention measures to help protect the health of our students, teachers, staff, and community members. Our child care and school partners have displayed tremendous levels of adaptability and ingenuity over the course of the pandemic, and we want to take a moment to recognize and applaud those efforts. EPCPH hopes to maintain the strong relationships developed with our school and child care partners. EPCPH continues to have a dedicated team available to discuss requirements, specific scenarios, best practices, and recommendations. EPCPH will continue to keep our partners up to date regarding public health guidance, as well as any applicable Public Health Orders or other policy changes. 

EPCPH has developed a 2021-22 School Guidance Document to provide schools and child cares with the understanding of what is required as well as guidance and recommendations that are grounded in our current understanding of COVID-19. Using a layered approach to implementing the recommended prevention strategies in the attached document is essential to reduce the spread of COVID-19.  

Although you may see a lot of current guidance written for “schools”, this guidance is for K-12 schools as well as child care facilities. Some of the guidance may not be applicable to child care operations, but you will see specific considerations for Early Childhood Education (ECE) and as child care operators, you will be able to determine what is applicable:

  • The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) released their new back-to-school guidance.  CDPHE is adopting school guidance that was released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and have clarified information in their new operational guide
  • CDPHE has stated that we can anticipate an update to their Child Care Facilities COVID Guidance website  in the near future

Vaccinations are the leading prevention strategy to reduce the spread of COVID-19. The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine has been authorized for those 12 and older, and the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines have been authorized for those 18 and older. EPCPH encourages vaccination for all of those who are eligible. For more information about the COVID-19 vaccines and locations in our community, visit EPCPH’s website. Schools and community organizations can also request an onsite vaccine event or mobile vaccine clinic by contacting schoolscovid19@elpasoco.com.   Schools can promote vaccination with the use of toolkits designed by  EPCPH, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Vaccine toolkits can be found here.  

COVID-19-Related Reporting or Inquiries  

  • To report a positive case of COVID-19 or an exposure during business hours (Monday – Friday, 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.):  
    • Phone – (719) 578-3220 (must leave a message)  
  • To report a positive case of COVID-19 or an exposure after hours (24/7): 
    • Phone – (719) 235-2278 (must leave a message)  
  • To email any of the above: 

We thank you for your continued diligence and commitment to helping foster a safe and healthy learning environment.  

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