We wanted to share an update about the 2019 Coronavirus and the work we’re doing with city and state health department leaders to ensure our staff, students and families have important information about the virus and steps to take to stay healthy.
DPS is working closely with the Denver Department of Public Health & Environment (DDPHE) and with the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE) about the Coronavirus Disease 2019, also known as COVID-19.
At this time, we know:
- Colorado has no confirmed cases of the disease.
- The virus is not spreading in the United States.
- Most Americans have a low risk of being exposed to the virus.
Right now, people thought to be at risk for the virus are those who have traveled to Wuhan, China, or people who have come in close contact with a person who is infected with the virus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization are keeping an eye on the outbreak in China and other affected countries.Both agencies are giving updated guidance to federal, state and local officials.
What is DPS doing in light of the disease?
We are taking this issue very seriously and are monitoring updates from city and state health departments regarding the outbreak. We are also staying in close contact with schools to check on the health of students and staff. Crews are also regularly and thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting school buildings.
Following direction from our city and state health agencies, district leaders are creating an extensive plan so that DPS is ready if the disease impacts our community. If we do have an outbreak of COVID-19 in Colorado, we are prepared to work closely with public-health leaders to reduce the impact.
As with any respiratory or stomach illness, DPS school nurses and school leaders should use the existing illness outbreak reporting process to track sicknesses, notify health department officials, clean and disinfect schools, and notify staff and parents.
In regard to the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19), we are directing all employees to review this CDPHE letter, which provides guidance for school employees. In addition, we are requiring that any employee who travels to a country that the CDC has determined to be a country with an Alert Level 2 or Warning Level 3 must notify their HR partner before returning to work. That information on Alert/Warning Levels can be found here.
We are strongly encouraging parents to keep their students home from school if they may be sick, and we ask you to share that important health message with your community. We are also sending information to all DPS families about the virus and the steps we’re taking with local health agencies. We also ask that team members stay home if they are not feeling well to protect the health and wellness of all students and staff.
Where can I learn more about the virus?
To learn more about this disease, please review this information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and CDPHE:
- 2019 Coronavirus Fact Sheet (CDPHE)
- Centers for Disease Control overview
- CDPHE overview
- If you have general questions about the virus, please call CO-Help at 303-389-1687 or 877-462-2911, or email COHELP@RMPDC.org. Answers are available in English, Spanish, Mandarin and other languages.
If you would like more information about what your school or team is doing to protect the health and safety of the school community, please reach out to the school nurse or email firstname.lastname@example.org.