Four COVID outbreaks reported at Grand County schools
Four of the six public schools in Grand County have reported a COVID-19 outbreak this week.
According to Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment reporting, Granby Elementary, East Grand Middle School, Middle Park High School and West Grand K-8 have seen COVID-19 outbreaks. All outbreaks were reported to the state on Friday.
An outbreak is defined as five or more probable cases of COVID-19 in a facility or non-household group within a 14 day period.
According to the state data, 20 students and one staff member are associated with the outbreak at Middle Park. Eight students and one staff member are associated with the outbreak at East Grand, while seven students are associated with the outbreak at Granby Elementary. Six students cases have been reported in the West Grand K-8 outbreak.
This week, West Grand made the decision to move the high school to online classes this week citing a variety of illnesses. The school is expected to resume in-person classes on Monday.
During Tuesday’s West Grand school board meeting, Interim Superintendent Liz Bauer explained the decision, with 30 students absent Monday at West Grand High School for a variety of reasons and not enough staff or substitutes to cover classes for students still attending.
“When we get to a certain threshold, there’s that decision that’s made in conjunction with public health,” Bauer said. “… That’s made for any kind of illness, COVID or otherwise. With all of those things, not just one thing but kind of all of those in totality, we made the decision to go remote learning for the high school only.”
She added that with 20% of students out at the K-8 school on Monday, the same decision was weighed but enough staff members were able to teach Tuesday to justify staying in-person.
West Grand K-8 classes remain in person, though Bauer added that these type of decisions are made day to day depending on staff and student absences.
“Unfortunately, that’s the world and the reality right now,” she said.
Classes at all four schools in the East Grand School District remain in person despite the COVID outbreaks. East Grand removed the district mask mandate on Monday, and the school board agree on Tuesday that it was too early to tell what kind of impact that is having yet.
Grand County has seen 240 new COVID-19 cases in the last week, of which 27.1% were in children ages 0-18.
The four school outbreaks are the only outbreaks currently reported by the state in Grand County, with the eight-person COVID-19 outbreak at the FedEx in Kremmling now considered resolved.
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