1,600 Cherry Creek HS students moved to remote learning after COVID-19 outbreak

Cherry Creek High School

AURORA | As many as 1,600 students at Cherry Creek High School are being moved to remote learning after several students tested positive for COVID-19, which the district said is linked to parties students attended over the past two weekends.

The students, which are in 12th grade, were last in school on Sept. 9, according to a letter sent to Cherry Creek High School families on Tuesday. As a result of being in close contact with them, 14 staff members and 146 students in Cohort A are required to quarantine for 14 days.

The remaining 1,585 students in Cohort A are not in quarantine, but they must move to remote learning through Wednesday, Sept. 23, which will be two weeks from when the students were last on campus.

Remote learning is being implemented because with the 14 teachers affected, there are not enough teachers available to teach in-person, district spokesperson Abbe Smith said.

“Under Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment guidelines, this is considered a COVID-19 outbreak, which dramatically affects our ability to hold school,” the letter said.

This is the first official outbreak in the district, which is in its fifth week of in-person school.

Smith said that over the weekend the district received several Safe 2 Tell reports about off-campus parties. When it was notified of the cases, contact tracers were able to trace them to the parties, she said.

“We have been very clear with our community that we all need to work together and do our part,” to maintain in-person school, Smith said.

Smith did not know the exact number of students who tested positive. According to the district website, 14 students and four staff members are currently positive for COVID-19, with 415 students and 36 staff in quarantine.