District 49 CEO Update: April 2, 2021
An exciting week at District 49 is coming to a close: Our first week of full schedule, full population, in-person learning. On behalf of D49, Chief Education Officer Peter Hilts wants to thank students, parents and staff for working and walking together through the most difficult year on record. Mr. Hilts also takes a look at the road still ahead, and highlights an opportunity to celebrate student role-models of resilience and flexibility through this difficult season of learning.
We invite you to take a look and have a listen. Thank you for your hard work and for making D49 the Best Choice to Learn Work and Lead!
D49 El Paso County COVID Data Update April 13, 2021
OVERVIEWKey measures of population health have degraded over the past two weeks. Through February and March, the case rate measure, test positivity, and hospital burden plateaued with moderate increases in test positivity and case rates. Since the last week of March, the case rate and test positivity metrics have degraded. During the period beginning in mid-February, over half the D49 workforce have registered for COVID vaccination through our partner, UC Health, and more than 90% of those are now through the second dose protocol.In addition to the positive vaccination metrics, we also observe that nearly 57,000 residents have “natural immunity*” via recovery from infection, nearly 199,000 residents are proceeding through inoculation toward vaccine-based immunity—and over 127,000 of those have completed the full vaccination series. Every recovered or vaccinated individual reduces the potential pool of future cases, and improves overall community conditions.*Natural immunity may only last 90 days, but medical experts continue studying and measuring immune responses to the standard variant as well as emerging variants of COVID-19.In addition to the overall COVID-19 dashboard, El Paso County has developed a vaccination dashboard with details about the numbers of doses and series, as well as other information about vaccination plans. You can review that information at the county website:HEALTH DATACounty health data has been degrading, with elevated levels and adverse trends over the last eight weeks.
elpasocountyhealth.org/ covid19data-dashboardOn the three key population health measures, this is the status as of Tuesday morning, April 13, 2021:Summary Chart:
Key Measure #1: 7-Day Incidence per 100,000 *Lower is better
Rating: CONCERN Level with Stable Trend
The Case Rate under the new 7-day average stands at 189, which is elevated compared to our 7-day baseline (123) from February 8. This metric is near the middle of the “concern" range (Between 100 and 300). Guidance from county and other public health officials is to continue monitoring for any evidence of conditions that may degrade conditions further.
Key Measure #2: Daily PCR Test Positivity (7-Day Average) *Lower is better
Rating: CONCERN Level with Stable Trend
The test positivity rate under the new 7-day average is 6.91%, above the public health target (maximum) of 7.5%, and above the new target level of 5.0% in Dial 3.0. We want that number lower, so it is concerning that test positivity measure is increasing. The average turnaround time for testing is stable but significant at 4.52 days. Due to logistics realities for collection, transfer to lab, and lab processes, any average turnaround under two days is near optimal.
Key Measure #3: Community Health Agency Burden
Rating: NORMAL Level with Stable Trend
This measure is a composite of hospitalization and death rates, which reveal the intensity of infectious spread and resulting illness. Although it is a self-reported measure with some subjectivity, the fact that total hospitalizations have decreased since early December is a positive indicator of decreasing burden on hospital facilities and services. Note that hospitalizations are a lagging indicator following case rates and test positivity by approximately 10-14 days.DISTRICT INCIDENT DATADue to continued adherence to our safety system, contact tracing, and exclusion from quarantine based on vaccination status, over 99% of our students are attending school without disruption. We are concerned that recent quarantines may increase and disrupt more students, but so far nearly all schools and programs are open and serving in-person learning. Although we have instances of precautionary quarantines, we have not experienced any outbreaks at D49 schools since spring break.Other district incident data is available on our dashboard.
D49 COVID-19 Tracking Dashboard
As the COVID-19 crisis has progressed, our ability to predict and respond to rising infection rates has improved. As a result, we are continuing to track the impact of positive cases on our students and staff as we conduct contact tracing, precautionary quarantines, and other protective measures.
D49 COVID Tracking Dashboard LINK
Please keep students home if they don’t feel well
Dear D49 Families,
We want to share a friendly reminder that sending learners to school requires at-home health screening every day.
Along with the excitement of reuniting and getting to know each other in our return to in-person learning, we are already experiencing the challenges of illness in our classrooms. As we are seeing, even minor symptoms can have significant ripple effects to our return to in-person learning. Guidance from our partners at El Paso County Public Health supports our nursing staff as they assess children showing COVID-like symptoms at school, and also informs their appropriate response, which in some cases requires sending home cohorts of learners and school staff.
Parents can help! Please keep students home if they don’t feel well, or are experiencing symptoms in the following checklists:
Symptoms Observed or Reported:
1 or more MAJOR SYMPTOMS
- Feeling feverish, having chills or temp of 100.4F or greater
- New or unexplained persistent cough
- New or unexplained shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Loss of sense of taste or smell
2 or more MINOR SYMPTOMS
- Sore throat
- Runny nose or congestion
- Muscle or body aches
- Nausea, vomiting
EMERGENCY COVID-19 WARNING SIGNS include: trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion, inability to wake or stay awake, bluish lips or face. Seek medical attention immediately by calling 911.
Students should stay home if they are experiencing:
1 or more major symptoms and/or 2 or more minor symptoms indicated on the table above.
This, and more useful information may be found on the D49 Nursing Services webpage. We encourage all of our families to become familiar with this process. Paired with our system of safety protocols, following these steps will give D49 our best chance at making this school year the safe and memorable one we know it can be.
Thank you for your time, understanding, and enduring trust.
D49 El Paso County COVID Data Update April 4, 2021
D49 El Paso County COVID Data Update March 29, 2021
D49 El Paso County COVID Data Update March 22, 2021
D49 El Paso County COVID Data Update March 8, 2021
D49 El Paso County COVID Data Update March 1, 2021
D49 El Paso County COVID Data Update Feb. 22, 2021
D49 El Paso County COVID Data Update Feb. 16, 2021
D49 El Paso County COVID Data Update Feb. 8, 2021
D49 El Paso County COVID Data Update Feb. 1, 2021
D49 El Paso County COVID Data Update Jan. 25, 2021
D49 El Paso County COVID Data Update Jan. 19, 2021
D49 El Paso County COVID Data Update Jan. 11, 2021
D49 El Paso County COVID Data Update Jan. 3, 2021
January Return to Learn Plan
D49 El Paso County COVID Data Update Dec. 14, 2020
Return To Learn
We are pleased to announce that District 49 will return from Spring Break on March 29 with a full-schedule, full-population model for all grades to complete the school year.