Governor Polis has ordered that public and private P-12 schools across the state close for in-person learning through the end of the scheduled Spring 2020 semester. P-12 schools and districts may use school buildings for providing services to students, educators, and families, including but not limited to in-person small group instructions; staff professional development; food service; access to internet, devices, or instructional materials; special education services; or mental health supports. There must be no more than 10 people in the building at a time. Read the executive order here.

The health department is currently working on guidance for local school districts and schools for graduation ceremonies. Please check this page frequently for updates.

Centers for Disease Control (CDC)-Interim Guidance for Schools

Guidance from School Safety Resource Center - Colorado Department of Public Safety

COVID-19 Resources for Schools - Colorado Department of Education

Teach children and staff to:

  • Cough or sneeze into their sleeved arm or cover their mouth and nose with a tissue. Throw away the tissue after they use it and wash their hands.
  • Avoid touching their eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Wash their hands frequently and for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, especially after they cough or sneeze; an alcohol-based hand rub can be used if soap and water are not nearby
  • Avoid sharing cups and eating utensils with others
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces such as doorknobs, tables, drinking fountains, and handrails. Regular cleaning products can be used. 
  • Avoid family style serving if possible. We recommend that adults prepare each child's plate using gloves.
  • If napping mats are used, children should be kept 6 feet apart if possible and mats should be cleaned after each use.

Schools and childcares should designate a staff member with decision-making authority that families and staff can notify of suspected illnesses.

Teachers, caregivers, and families should report any suspected infection to the designated staff member (health staff, school nurse, or childcare director)

School or childcare staff:

  • Any staff notified of a suspected illness should inform the designated staff member as soon as possible.
  • The designated staff member, in coordination with the registered school nurse, should report the suspected illness to us using this form
    • Please note: COVID-19 is a reportable condition. If you are notified that a student has novel coronavirus, contact us as soon as possible. This is allowed under FERPA.
  • Establish procedures to ensure students and staff who become sick at school or arrive at school sick are sent home as soon as possible. 
    • Exclude children, students, or staff who have fever and respiratory symptoms from childcare, school, or work until at least 24 hours after they no longer have fever or signs of a fever (chills, feeling very warm, flushed appearance, or sweating) without the use of a medication that reduces fever.
  • Ill children, students, and staff should be separated from others until they can be picked up or go home.
  • Remember that schools are not expected to screen students and staff for COVID-19. The majority of respiratory illnesses are not COVID-19. If a community or school has cases of COVID-19, the health department will help identify those individuals and follow up on next steps.
  • Share resources with parents and families to help them understand when to keep children home.
  • Review the usual absenteeism patterns at your school/child care among both students and staff. 
    • Alert us via the form linked above about increases in student and staff absenteeism, particularly if absences appear due to respiratory illnesses (like the common cold or the “flu,” which have symptoms similar to COVID-19).
    • If possible, school/child care personnel monitoring attendance should ask the following information: 
      ▪ Name of student or child
      ▪ Symptoms of the child – especially for fever plus cough and/or shortness of breath 
      ▪ Have they been seen by a medical provider
  • Review attendance and sick leave policies. Require students and staff to stay home when sick. Use flexibility, when possible, to allow staff to stay home to care for sick family members.
  • Identify critical job functions and positions, and plan for alternative coverage by cross-training staff. 
  • Determine what level of absenteeism will disrupt continuity of teaching and learning. 

Coronaviruses do not survive well on environmental surfaces but performing routine cleaning and disinfection of surfaces can help reduce any potential risk and reduce the risk of other respiratory illnesses that may be circulating such as the common cold and influenza.

  • Routinely clean frequently touched surfaces (e.g., doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handrails) with cleaners you would typically use according to the directions on the product label.
  • Provide disposable wipes so that commonly used surfaces (e.g., keyboards, desks, and remote controls) can be wiped down by students and staff before each use.

EPA-Approved Disinfectants for COVID-19

  • Include strategies for sharing information with staff, students, and their families.
  • Include information about steps being taken by the school or childcare facility to prepare, and how additional information will be shared.  
  • Direct parents and families to our website and social media channels for the most current and reliable information about COVID-19.

We can help you with communications to your school or childcare community. Please complete this form to ask us a question or request communications support.