D49 El Paso County COVID Data Update Sept. 28, 2020
County health data has stalled out, with mixed levels and some beneficial trends.
On the three key population health measures, this is the status as of Monday morning, September 28, 2020:
Key Measure #1: 14-Day Incidence per 100,000 *Lower is better
Rating: Acceptable Level with Mixed Trend
The Case rate has declined from a high of 157, to today’s level of 72 which is in the “High” range (50-100) it is significant that our case rate has been increasing for two weeks, and peaked over the weekend at over 76. That level is concerning, and the recent trend has raised enough to put us on alert for future trends. It is encouraging that we’ve had two days of declining numbers, but we need to see at least a full week, and preferably two weeks of declining trends to reestablish our confidence that county population health is supporting our return to learn. We will continue tracking this measure daily. At the current levels and trends it is highly likely we will enter and exit fall break at the 50% level for MS and HS students.
Key Measure #2: Daily PCR Test Positivity (14-Day Average) *Lower is better
Rating: Very Good Level with Stable Trend
The test positivity rate is at 2.55% today, under the public health target (maximum) of 5%. We want that number lower, so being under 5% is good. The long-term trend and level are both positive. Overall, as case rates drop, total testing rates may drop which could lead to an increased test positivity rate even as fewer total positive tests are conducted. So far, we are not seeing case rates drop, and we’ve seen our total number of tests increase, which is a beneficial factor for overall health tracking. The average turnaround time for test results has improved to 1.79 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 Capacity
Rating: Very Good Level with Stable Trend
This measure is a composite of hospitalization and death rates, which reveal the intensity of infectious spread and resulting illness. Over the last 14 days, EPC has tracked 19 hospitalizations and 2 deaths, numbers, that while concerning and tragic, are well within the county’s health capacity to care and support.
DISTRICT INCIDENT DATA
Rating: Good Level with Stable Trend
As of Sunday, August 27, District 49 has tracked and traced 225 workforce incidents of known or suspected COVID symptoms, infections, or exposure at our district-operated and chartered schools within district boundaries.
Of those, 33 have been presumed or confirmed Tier Zero cases. Of those Tier Zero cases, 23 have tested negative and 10 (total) have tested positive, with the remainder still monitoring symptoms.As you can see, we we raised again to our high mark of incidents, but with no new positive cases. All of the recent incidents have been in the precautionary category. This pattern makes sense as case rates in the larger community rise, and more students are attending in-person every day.
We have still not tracked a single incident of transmission at a district school or other facility.We have also not declared an outbreak at any district operated or geographic charter school or any other district facility.
SECONDARY EDUCATION RETURN TO IN-PERSON LEARNING
Middle and high school students are continuing with in-person learning on a rotating schedule with 50% of MS and HS students attending this week and going forward. We are discussing the appropriate timing for increasing our percentage of in-person learning.
TRANSPORTATION, NUTRITION, FACILITIES, SECURITY, and TECHNOLOGY
Although we are continuing with the same operational posture as the past three weeks, adding returning secondary students into the mix has created new complexities and management issues for operational teams including transportation, nutrition, and security in particular. Also, in compliance with the federal waiver to provide free lunches for all students, we anticipate a significantly higher load on our nutrition services teams across the district. We are still managing the personnel and supply chain implications of that waiver, but our team has demonstrated great expertise and agility, so we anticipate serving many from our community well.
PUBLIC HEALTH DEVELOPMENTS
Although many data points are positive or trending positive, El Paso County remains in the “Safer At Home” stage. We have moved away from the levels needed for “Protect Your Neighbors” stage, so you should not anticipate much discussion about that possibility in the next few weeks.
Governor Polis has extended the mask mandate (indoors, 10 years or older) for another 30 days, so through our Fall Break in October.
Cell phone tracking data for our community and greater Colorado show increased mobility and movement around the state. Generally, increased mobility correlates with increased community transmission, but Colorado is measuring mixed results for the relationship of those two numbers.
The “R naught” number (R0) is a measure of reproductive rate of viral transmission, where a rate of 1.0 means one sick person infects one healthy person. At rates greater than 1.0, the pandemic advances. At rates less than 1.0, the pandemic recedes. Currently, the R0 value for Colorado is above 1.0.
Population health data for EPC is better than for Colorado as a whole, which is a matter of concern as increased mobility puts more of our neighbors in contact with other Coloradans.
District 49 Chief Education Officer Return to Learn Update, 9/25/20
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 Sept. 21, 2020
D49 El Paso County COVID Data Update Sept. 14, 2020
District 49 will begin the 20-21 school year
Suspending Volunteer Service
Return to Learn: August 17 Start
Public Health Recommendation: July 23
Back to School Update: July 2
Lunch Update: Holiday and Final Day: June 26
Return to School Plan & Survey: July 10
Family Attendance for Outdoor Graduation Ceremonies: June 7, 2020
Chromebook Returns: June 2 & 4: May 29, 2020
District 49 Chief Education Officer and Chief Business Officer Community Update - May 22, 2020
Last Call for Chromebooks: May 21, 2020
D49 Lunch Meal Service: May 12, 2020
Last Day and Chromebook Return: May 8, 2020
On March 30, District 49 re-opened for learning under the new conditions of operations required by the coronavirus health emergency. For the time being, D49 will pursue excellence as E49, which acknowledges our move as a district to an E-learning and E-working model! Thank you for walking with us as we navigate our new landscape and season of learning created by this epidemic.
Our primary concern is protecting learning time while respecting the needs of families and students during this challenging time.
We are also providing equipment to families who need support to participate in E-learning.
Specific class information is avaible on your school's webpage.