A Montrose High School student in Cohort A tested positive for COVID-19, resulting in more than 30 students and staff members being asked to quarantine.
In a Friday, Nov. 6 press release the Montrose County School District COVID-19 Response Team (CRT) received confirmation of the student’s positive test.
Collaborating with Montrose County Public Health, MCSD contract traced “any staff and students with whom the individual had prolonged close contact, and who now need to quarantine and seek testing,” according to the press release.
As a result of the tracing, 26 MHS students and five MHS staff members need to quarantine through Thursday, Nov. 19, and seek COVID-19 testing.
The district continues to remind staff, students and the community that “As we enter the winter months and approach cold and flu season, we remind every community member to stay home when you are sick, wash your hands often, social distance whenever possible and wear your Personal Protective Equipment (masks) with consistency.”
Friday was the fourth day MCPH notified the district of a positive case among staff or students.
As a result of contract tracing since Tuesday, Nov. 3, MCPH and MCSD have identified 117 staff and students who needed to quarantine and seek COVID-19 testing. Those quarantines were a result of five COVID-19 positive cases among students and staff across the district this week. Some of those quarantines have since expired or will expire early next week.
When someone is instructed to quarantine, there are guidelines about what that entails outlined by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment on the state’s website. CDPHE says people may be instructed to quarantine or do so voluntarily because they have a household member or close contact that:
• Has a positive COVID-19 test
• Has symptoms of COVID-19
• Is getting ill and thinks they might have COVID-19. Symptoms, especially early on, may be mild and feel like a common cold. Early symptoms could include a combination of cough, body aches, fatigue, and chest tightness. Some people may not develop fever or fever may not appear until several days into the illness.
QuarantinePeople can voluntarily quarantine, but Colorado has legal authority to issue quarantine orders for people who were exposed. CDPHE said the purpose of people quarantining is to separate people and restrict their movements if they were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become ill and to protect them from exposing others. Quarantine is also for people who are not sick, but who may have been exposed or in close contact who is ill.
How long is quarantine?For the day of the last exposure, a person will need to stay home or in the same location for 14 days to avoid spreading the virus to others.
People who are sick need to contact their local public health department, get COVID-19 tests and follow isolation directions, which can be found at https://tinyurl.com/CoronavirusIsolation.
Anyone who is exposed to someone with COVID-19 needs to quarantine for 14 days, regardless of test results. People who live with someone who is COVID-19 positive and are caring for them or continue to have contact should quarantine as soon as they know they have been exposed. The quarantine will continue 14 days after the end of the infected person’s isolation period or 14 days since your last contact with that person.
For more details about how to quarantine, visit the CDPHE website at https://tinyurl.com/HowToQuarantine.
Lauren Brant is a staff writer and digital content coordinator for the Montrose Daily Press.