CDPHE releases new COVID guidance for school staff and students 

Written by: Children's Campaign
Date Posted: January 14, 2022

As omicron cases continue to spike across the state, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) has shortened their recommended isolation time for students and school staff who test positive for COVID-19. The department recommends that staff and students who test positive for COVID-19 isolate for five days, drawn down from a previous 10-day recommendation. This guidance is also the same for those who come in close contact with an individual testing positive for COVID-19.  

This news, released Jan. 7, comes after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released similar guidance for the general public. While schools are not required to follow this updated recommendation, many have shifted to the shorter isolation period.  

Education leaders are hopeful that this new recommendation will help ease the staffing burdens districts are facing in the second half of the school year, as an increasing number of staff and students test positive. Shorter absences for students could also result in less missed learning, a topic of concern that has emerged in the ongoing pandemic as students shift between learning modalities and deal with the social-emotional impacts of the public health crisis, among other concerns. However, some schools are wary that the new guidance will result in staff and students returning to classrooms sooner than they should, increasing the spread of COVID-19 in learning settings.  

At the same time, we recognize that our K-12 educators and support staff are already under immense pressure – and have been for the entirety of the pandemic thus far. With the prevalence of the omicron variant, combined with the continuation of in-person teaching among changing COVID-19 safety guidelines, it remains necessary that we advocate for the mental health and wellbeing of our educators. If you are or know a Colorado educator, we highly encourage you to share the Colorado Educator Support program with them. Free of charge, this program offers Colorado’s educator workforce with workshops that focus on mental health management, well-being support lines and online programs, one-on-one counseling, and more.  

Increasing vaccination plays a significant role in combating both the spread of COVID-19 and the risk of contracting it with potentially dangerous complications. Vaccination also helps prevent the development of new and more dangerous COVID-19 variants that could continue to impact us all. There are a variety of ways to seek out a COVID-19 vaccination appointment for both you and your children. Resources to help you find a COVID-19 vaccine for your child are listed below:   

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About Children's Campaign

The Colorado Children’s Campaign is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy organization committed since 1985 to realizing every chance for every child in Colorado. We advocate for the development and implementation of data-driven public policies that improve child wellbeing in health, education and early childhood. We do this by providing Coloradans with trusted data and research on child wellbeing and organizing an extensive state-wide network of dedicated child advocates. For more information, please visit www.coloradokids.org.