More students and staff quarantined at Steamboat Springs schools
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Two unrelated cases of COVID-19 at Strawberry Park Elementary School have caused 30 students and five staff members to quarantine until at least Jan. 23, according to an email to parents Monday.
This comes two days after a positive case at Steamboat Springs Middle School forced 30 students, one staff member and an additional 15 student bus riders deemed “close contacts” into quarantine, according to an email to parents Saturday.
There are now nearly 190 students and 16 staff members in the Steamboat Springs School District who have needed to quarantine since students returned from winter break. The surge of cases locally, as well as cases in the schools, led the school board to put off a plan to bring younger students back to the classroom full-time last week.
But with now seven different groups of students needing to quarantine in just the first two weeks since school started again after winter break, keeping students in the current hybrid model will depend on staff available.
Of students quarantined since winter break, just a dozen are now finished with their quarantine.
Steamboat Springs High School moved online in November because they had 14 staff out at that school alone. The most staff out at any one school in the district is seven at Soda Creek Elementary School. Those staff will be able to return from quarantine by Wednesday.
Strawberry Park has had six staff in quarantine since the end of winter break, but one is already off quarantine and could return to normal activities Monday. At the high school, staff quarantines have been limited to two, and at the middle school, just one staff member has been sidelined.
The school board will revisit the phased implementation plan to bring younger students back to the classroom Jan. 25. Cases in Routt County have been surging again, with the most recent two weeks having 263 new cases according to the county’s dashboard.
When school board members decided to delay the plan because of elevated local case counts there had been 156 cases in two weeks. Routt County has seen nearly that many in the past week alone.
To reach Dylan Anderson, call 970-871-4247 or email danderson@SteamboatPilot.com.
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More COVID-19 booster shots are getting approved, health officials are saying people can mix or match the brand of these shots, and vaccines for children between 5 and 11 are closer than ever.