GREENWOOD VILLAGE | Two weeks after in-person learning was restarted for the Cherry Creek School District, 123 students and 13 staff members have tested positive for COVID-19 and 774 students and 65 staff members are in quarantine due to exposure.
The quarantined students make up 1.63% of the 55,000 student strong district, about 10,000 of which have opted to be fully online this school year. The quarantined staff make up .78% of the staff population, according to the district’s website.
The district brought students back to the classroom on Jan. 11 after moving to online learning in the fall when COVID-19 case rates rose significantly across the Denver metro area. In those two weeks, there have been 57 instances of students or staff members testing positive at schools, which prompted quarantines.
That includes 10 Cherokee Trail High School students testing positive, requiring 54 students to quarantine; four Eaglecrest High School students testing positive, requiring 24 students to quarantine; and two Mission Viejo Elementary School students testing positive, requiring 40 students and two staff members to quarantine.
Along with quarantined students and staff, 10 students are currently learning remotely for operational reasons, indicating that they were not exposed to COVID-19 but there are not teachers available to teach them in person.
Quarantine requirements are slightly different this semester than in the fall. Instead of having to quarantine for a full 14 days, students and staff members will now be able to return to class after seven days if they get a negative COVID-19 test after five days in quarantine.
Along with free testing for district employees, the district began offering free voluntary testing for all students this semester through a partnership with COVIDCheck Colorado.
Unlike last semester, the district does not have a rubric-based guide for whether or not in-person learning is safe. Community incidence rate of COVID-19 is one of the key figures it will be monitoring after the Metro Denver Partnership for Health found that an incidence rate of 500-700 makes it more challenging for schools to stay open.
As of Saturday, Arapahoe County has a 14-day incidence rate of 450.3 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people, according to the Tri-County Health Department’s online dashboard.