Student tests positive for COVID-19 at Steamboat Springs Middle School, 22 others now in quarantine

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Routt County public health officials announced Thursday the first positive case of COVID-19 in the Steamboat Springs School District has been identified.

A student at Steamboat Springs Middle School tested positive for the virus. According to the Routt County Public Health Department, the student had been attending school in person but has isolated at home and started remote learning after becoming symptomatic.

A group of about 19 students and three staff members at the school had come in “close contact” with the student, according to officials. They have since been placed in quarantine until Oct. 1.

The student’s positive test was reported to the health department Thursday morning, according to Brad Meeks, Steamboat Springs School District superintendent.

“We want to thank the middle school and the school district for partnering with us so closely to prepare for COVID-19 and address any positive cases,” said Roberta Smith, Routt County Public Health director, in a news release. “As soon as the child developed symptoms, the student got tested and went to school remotely to learn, which minimized the student’s contact with other students and teachers.”

Letters were sent to all students, parents and staff following the discovery of the positive case.

“We want to thank the family of the student for getting their child tested as soon as symptoms developed,” Meeks said. “We urge every family to do the same to keep the virus contained. The teachers and students are cooperating with the quarantine. We wish a speedy recovery to the (middle school) student.”

Local health officials offered this advice for parents if their child develops symptoms consistent with COVID-19:

COVID-19: Follow our coverage

Before immediately heading to the hospital, people who are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 have several resources, including:

  • The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is providing a phone line to answer questions from the public about COVID-19. Call CO-Help at 303-389-1687 or 877-462-2911 or email for answers in English and Spanish, Mandarin and more.
  • UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center offers Ask-A-Nurse, a 24/7 call line staffed by registered nurses who can assess symptoms and provide advice on seeking care. In Routt County, Ask-A-Nurse can be reached by calling 970-871-7878.
  • Virtual Visits can be done from the comfort of your home and only require a computer or tablet with a working webcam, speakers and microphone, or a smartphone.
  • If patients are experiencing severe symptoms or having difficulty breathing, they should visit the hospital’s emergency department.

Take precautions in everyday life:

  • Frequently and thoroughly wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash, or use your inner elbow or sleeve.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Stay home if you’re sick and keep your children home if they are sick.
  • Clean surfaces in your home and personal items such as cell phones, using regular household products.
  • Be calm but be prepared.
  • Employees at businesses and customers ​are required to wear a mask, according to a statewide public health order.
  • Limit distance between non-household members to 6 feet when indoors and outdoors.
  • The maximum group size for indoor activities is 10.

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