Telluride School District: COVID-19 Update

San Miguel County Public Health learned some valuable lessons from positive COVID cases in the Telluride School District. For up-to-date coronavirus information visit here. For more information surrounding the state’s COVID-19 dial, visit here.

Grace Franklin, County Public Health Director.

Public Health has confirmed six new positive cases of COVID-19 from test results received the 3rd through the 6th of November. All positives are local residents, two of whom, a 55-year-old female and a 49-year-old female, Public Health was unable to contact and therefore could not conduct case investigation. A 61-year-old male, 51-year-old male, 43-year-old female and a 31-year-old male are all symptomatic and in isolation. There have been 113 total COVID cases among residents to date with eight active cases. To learn more about the County’s current COVID-19 metrics, please visit the County COVID-19 dashboard.

After two positive cases were identified of students in the Telluride School District last week, School Administration worked closely with Public Health, Telluride Medical Center and Uncompahgre Medical Center to quickly test all close contacts, which included 50 of 57 high school students and 12 teachers and staff members. Of these tests, one came back positive in which exposure was presumed from an off-campus social interaction. That established the assumption that transmission of the virus within the school did not occur. All students, staff and teachers affected by these positive incidents will be cleared to return to school by Tuesday, November 10, as long as no new symptoms occur.

Some critical learnings came from the first positive cases in the Telluride School District, such as to stay home when any signs of illness are present. Should any symptoms of COVID-19 or other illness such as the flu, strep throat or common cold arise, Public Health urges residents to stay home and opt for remote work or learning when possible. Avoid the possible spread of disease and illnesses by isolating at home.

Public Health encourages residents to consider their contact budget, or allowance. Now more than ever, it is imperative that Coloradans, especially those in rural communities like San Miguel County, reduce their contact with those outside their household. Contact budgets should be limited to no more than 10 people per week in order to rapidly reduce transmission rates.

“As positive cases are increasing across the state, many counties are moving to more restrictive levels,” said Public Health Director Grace Franklin. “Adjusting our individual behavior is the only way to reverse the increasing trend before it is too late. Please avoid gatherings with those outside your household, honor the five commitments and stay home when you are sick. If we control what we can now, students can stay in school and our communities can remain open.”

When adjusting behavior, it is important to analyze the levels of risk taken when participating in various activities. Lower risk activities include cooking dinner at home with family or roommates, going for a walk or bike ride and meeting virtually. Higher risk activities include going to a bar, eating inside a restaurant, having a meeting indoors without masks on and/or attending a gathering at a friend’s home.

As a reminder, San Miguel County’s Safer at Home level limits personal gatherings to 10 or fewer people from no more than two households, and there are various capacity limits for other activities. Changing activities now will allow the county to remain open and prosperous throughout the holiday season.

San Miguel County will continue posting caseload updates twice a week. The next update will be published on Tuesday, November 10.

Five Commitments of Containment:

Wear a mask
Maintain six feet of physical distance
Minimize group size
Wash hands frequently
Stay home when sick and get tested

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