Parents of School-Aged Children
|Effective Sept. 1: Public Health Order requiring facial coverings in all individuals aged 2 years and older in schools and child care settings. Review the Order and frequently asked questions on our Public Health Order webpage. Complete our COVID-19 school masking form to report your concerns.|
Contact your child's school directly for questions about why your child is in quarantine. Currently, schools in our jurisdiction must follow guidance from CDPHE for Cases and Outbreaks in Childcare and Schools.
We encourage and provide support to schools to help them follow this guidance. If you have additional concerns, please fill out the state's COVID-19 related issues and concerns form.
Quarantine and Isolation within a School Setting
As an agency, we are working with our school partners in implementing CDPHE’s Practical Guide for Operationalizing CDC’s School Guidance. In a routine classroom setting, per CDPHE School Guidance and in order to retain in person learning, contact tracing and quarantine is not required. This is considered a low risk exposure. A high-risk exposure would be extracurricular actives outside the classroom setting contact sports (football, wrestling), indoor choir or band. However, schools should remain alert for additional cases in the classroom occurring up to 14 days after the initial positive staff/student began isolation.
We are recommending the school send out an exposure notification outlining what the student/staff should do in school and at home if they have been exposed. If your child does develop symptoms we recommend testing (free testing sites can be found on our website). If a school identifies an outbreak (5 or more connected cases within a 14 day period, Colorado COVID-19 Case and Outbreak Definitions) contact tracing and quarantine is required for exposed unvaccinated close contacts.
A school is required to report all positive COVID cases and outbreaks to local public health. Review our School Guidance FAQ for Isolation and Quarantine.
School District Case and Testing Dashboard
Our School District Case and Testing dashboard includes counts and rates for both cases and testing with the ability to filter by date range and age group. By default, the dashboard is filtered by all cases. Select the filter on the left side to narrow down the time period and the incidence rate.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- Support for Teens & Young Adults
- Guidance for COVID-19 Prevention in K-12 Schools
- Activities, Gatherings & Holidays
Colorado Department of Education (CDE)
Colorado Department of Health & Environment (CDPHE)
- School and Childcare FAQ
- Masks and Mental Health in Children
- Prevention and Community Spread
- Reducing fear and taking care of yourself
- What to do when school is closed?
- Worker's Rights and Resources
- Masks for Kids: What You Need to Know About Face Coverings English | Spanish
- Q&A: Back to School in Year Two of the COVID Pandemic
- Channel7 town hall with experts to talk about kids and the COVID-19 vaccine
- COVID-19 vaccines help Kids Be Kids, learn more at COVIDFreeKids.org
- Information on state and other Public Health Orders
- Colorado Crisis Services
- EnableMyChild: Pediatric Services
- Sanvello: An app to improve mental health
- Tri-County: Resources in Adams, Arapahoe, and Douglas Counties
What is Quarantine?
Both quarantine and isolation help protect the public by preventing exposure to people who are sick or have been exposed to people who are sick. Generally, a person's residence is the preferred setting for both quarantine and isolation.
Quarantine applies to unvaccinated people who have had close contact with a person who either had a positive test or symptoms - even early symptoms - of illness. Learn more from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) webpage on how to quarantine.
What is Isolation?
Isolation or self-isolation applies to both vaccinated and unvaccinated people who have a positive COVID-19 test, have symptoms of COVID-19, or are getting ill and think they might have COVID-19. Learn more from the CDPHE's webpage on how to isolate.
What is a close contact?
A close contact is a person who:
- Was within six feet of someone who has COVID-19 (even if they did not have symptoms) for 15 minutes
- Provided care for someone who is sick with COVID-19
- Had direct physical contact with someone who is sick with COVID-19
- Got exposed to respiratory droplets from someone who is sick with COVID-19 (through coughing, sneezing, shouting, etc.)
- Was in the same class/cohort as a person with COVID-19
For pre-K and child care settings, additional types of close contact such as diapering, feeding and holding should be considered. Due to the close proximity of caregiver and child in these circumstances, very short durations of exposure will warrant quarantine if a case is detected in a caregiver or child.
Does Tri-County Health Department mandate what a school is doing in regards to the COVID-19 response?
We follow current guidance from CDPHE and CDE to reopen schools safely. We make recommendations from this guidance and schools follow these recommendations based on their available resources. Schools are required to follow guidance for Case and Outbreaks in Schools when they have a positive case or suspected outbreak in their schools.
We are working daily with schools and districts in Adams, Arapahoe, and Douglas counties to keep your kids healthy as they return to school this year. If you have a question or concern about your specific school, reach out to your school or district leaders for more information.
When would I hear from my child's school and when would I hear from Tri-County?
If you or your child tests positive for COVID-19 we will contact you. During the case investigation interview, we will determine who the positive case was in close contact with and provide quarantine instructions.
If your child attends school with a student/teacher that tests positive with COVID-19, the school will work with us to determine who within the school needs to quarantine.
The school is taking all of the required preventive measures like keeping students six feet apart, requiring masks, and frequently disinfecting surfaces. How were they exposed?
Why can't the school or public health department tell me what classroom it was or who was sick?
There are a variety of regulations and laws that require the protection of an individual's information and identity as part of infectious disease public health response - this includes HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act). This means we are unable to provide specific information about individuals who are ill or test positive for infectious diseases.
If you or someone in your family tested positive for COVID-19, we would be unable to provide your private information to other callers.
Why did you quarantine so many kids?
We follow current CDPHE school guidance which states that when there is a case of COVID-19 in a classroom or cohort (i.e. specified group of people), that entire classroom or group will need to enter into quarantine. CDPHE does allow targeted quarantine when a school is able to meet a set of standards in middle and high school. The school and school district determines who within the school needs to quarantine based on this guidance.
At this time, mask usage and social distancing within that classroom does not override the need to quarantine when there is an identified case. CDPHE has more information on their website..
I do not believe my child should have been quarantined, who makes these decisions?
The school and school district use the guidance provided by the state to determine who was in close contact. We work with the school to determine the infectious period for the child/staff member who tested positive for COVID-19. Once the exposed people are determined, we will work with the school district for dates for quarantine.
If my child needs to quarantine do I or their siblings need to quarantine?
Can a negative test release my child from quarantine?
TCHD works with schools to utilize CDC’s shortened quarantine options for students and staff. Students/staff are able to return to school after day 10 without testing or after day 7 after receiving a negative test result (test must occur on day 5 or later), as long as they remain asymptomatic. If the student/staff becomes symptomatic then isolation will begin. A negative test will not allow for shortened isolation periods.
Does Tri-County follow up on children/staff who are in quarantine?
We do not follow up on persons placed in quarantine after initial instructions are provided. Individuals in quarantine should monitor for fever and COVID-19 symptoms each day. If symptoms develop, consult with your health care provider and consider testing. It is up to the schools if they want to follow up on students or staff in quarantine.
Does our school have an outbreak?
My child seems to have a cold, do I need to keep them home?
CDPHE has created a screening tool to help you decide when to keep students home.