UPDATED: Hayden School District abruptly sends students home after positive test for COVID-19 in school
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Hayden School District is sending students home from school Thursday after a positive COVID-19 case was confirmed within the school, according to district superintendent Christy Sinner.
School officials are asking that parents pick their students up by 11 a.m., though there will be busing available for students near the Moffatt County line and near Milner.
“After consulting with public health, we have been directed to dismiss students and staff as a precautionary measure,” said Nancy Seams, director of finance for the district, relaying the message the district has sent to parents.
The surge in COVID-19 cases in Routt County has led to nearly 20 confirmed cases in schools, causing about 500 students and staff in multiple school districts to go into quarantine.
The Hayden student who tested positive had been at school, so upon recommendation from the Routt County Public Health Department, about 150 students and nearly 30 staff are in quarantine, according to a letter sent to parents Thursday.
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All classroom members are considered a close contact, so each student in the class needs to stay home and follow quarantine protocols, the letter said.
County health officials recommend students be tested for COVID-19 a week after the last day the student was in school if they were a close contact, regardless of whether they are showing symptoms.
District officials are calling all parents to ensure their student has a way to get home.
Classes are planned to resume in person on Nov. 30. Until then, students will continue learning from home.
“We are prepared for that, we have been preparing for that eventuality,” Seams said.
Steamboat Springs High School shifted to all virtual classes last week after new cases and the quarantines required made continuing in-person class unrealistic.
As of Thursday, there are now 17 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the district’s schools, leading to about 330 students and nearly 30 staff to quarantine, according to Brad Meeks, Steamboat Springs School District superintendent.
The closure of the Hayden district also led to the cancellation of the Hayden versus Soroco High School football game scheduled for Friday evening in Oak Creek. The game would have brought the two rivalry teams together in a match-up that would have granted one team their first win of the year.
As football was approved to be brought back into the fall, the Colorado High School Activities Association announced a 6+1 schedule. Each team will play six games, and those not making the playoffs could schedule an additional game in week one or two of the postseason, also referred to as weeks 7 and 8.
“We were told we could schedule a game week 7 or week 8,” Hayden Athletic Director Danielle Campbell said. “Week 7 is this (upcoming) week and week 8 would be the week of Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, we have fallen out of that window, so we are going to have to call our football season.”
Steamboat Pilot & Today sports editor Shelby Reardon contributed to this report.
To reach Dylan Anderson, call 970-871-4247 or email danderson@SteamboatPilot.com.
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Routt County’s COVID-19 incidence rate is increasing exponentially and is now among the top three in Colorado behind only Moffat and Kit Carson counties.