About 50 students in quarantine after Steamboat school employee tests positive for COVID-19; 11 new cases confirmed over last 2 weeks in Routt County | SteamboatToday.com

About 50 students in quarantine after Steamboat school employee tests positive for COVID-19; 11 new cases confirmed over last 2 weeks in Routt County

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — A message sent out Tuesday evening to families by the Steamboat Springs School District confirmed that a district transportation employee had tested positive for COVID-19.

About 50 students were asked to quarantine after identified as being in close contact to the employee, who had been on one of the district’s buses.

School principals made contact with the families of students impacted by this incident, according to Steamboat Superintendent Brad Meeks.

“We are working closely with the Routt County Health Department,” Meeks said. “Please continue to regularly monitor your child for symptoms of COVID-19.”

Students awaiting a COVID-19 test should not attend school.

Despite the latest confirmed cases, the county is now at the adequate two-week level to move its designation to Safer at Home Level 1.

“There was a total of 11 cases among county residents in the past two weeks,” Routt County Epidemiologist Nicole Harty confirmed Wednesday.

From Sept. 28 to Oct. 4, there were a total of five cases among Routt County residents — two of which are considered probable but not yet confirmed.

“Cases have decreased from the peak two weeks ago after Labor Day weekend, and we have plateaued over the past two weeks,” Harty said. “This is consistent with what we see across Colorado.”

Of the five local residents who tested positive, four had no history or known exposure, according to Roberta Smith, Routt County Public Health director.

One of the cases was a student from an out-of-county university and decided to isolate in Routt County, instead of at school.

“I want to remind everyone that if you leave a county where your isolation orders were written, you are violating the isolation orders,” Smith explained. “We had to issue new isolation orders for this student.”

Three others were from out-of-county residents, and one was from contact tracing in another county.

The county’s COVID-19 dashboard will now be updated every Tuesday and Friday evening, according to Harty. Board of Health meetings will now only occur twice a month.

At the Routt County Board of Health meeting Wednesday, it was confirmed there was also one new hospitalization, but that level keeps the county within the medium level, according to the state of Colorado’s standards. 

The county’s application to move to Safer at Home Level 1, which provides a bit less restriction to current guidelines, has already been submitted to the state. An answer has not yet been received by the county.

Safer at Home Level 1 is the final stage before entering the third COVID-19 phase of Protect Our Neighbors.

To reach Bryce Martin, call 970-871-4206 or email bmartin@SteamboatPilot.com.

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