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Denver school closes after student's parent tests positive for the coronavirus

School administrators said the parent had not been on the campus in the past month.


Students at St. Anne's Episcopal School were sent home early Friday amid concerns about possible exposure to COVID-19. 

A parent of a student at the school tested presumptive positive for the virus, according to Bob McDonald, executive director of Denver's Dept. of Public Health & Environment (DDPHE)

The Colorado Department of Health and Environment (CDPHE) and DDPHE did not recommend they close the campus, calling the exposure "extremely low risk."

One other Denver resident and someone in El Paso County tested "presumptive positive" for the virus, DDPHE and El Paso County announced Friday, one day after state health officials announced Colorado's first two cases of the virus.

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St. Anne's Episcopal School is located at 2701 York St. in Denver. That's near East Yale Avenue and South University Boulevard.

Earlier on Friday, school administrators said they learned that a parent may have been exposed to COVID-19 and was being tested by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for the disease.

The parent had not been on campus in the past month, according to a statement from the school.

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 After learning about the possible exposure, school administrators contacted CDPHE.

Both CDPHE and DDPHE said the risk of transmission is “extremely low" and neither organization recommended that the school be closed.

School officials, however, chose "a cautious and proactive approach" and closed the campus and sent students home early, according to the statement.

They plan to thoroughly disinfect all buildings and surfaces before reopening the school.

RELATED: Denver reports 2 COVID-19 cases, bringing the total Colorado cases to 4

CDPHE said it was aware that the school was closed and said in a statement: "We respect an individual school or district’s need to make decisions about school closures and postponement of activities in collaboration with their local public health agencies."

St. Anne's Episcopal School announced on Sunday it will be closed on Monday, March 9 and Tuesday, March 10 for continued cleaning and more faculty and staff testing. 

The Denver school announced an early dismissal on Friday because a student's father tested as presumptive positive for COVID-19.

The school will prepare contingency plans including distance learning on Tuesday, if necessary. The school plans to reopen on Wednesday, March 11, spokesperson Lucy Murphy said.

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