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DPS working on COVID-19 quarantine scenarios that could make your head spin

We saw Denver Public Schools' internal plan for COVID-19 cases. They say it's not final, but it gave us some insight into what we can expect in fall 2020.

DENVER — The Denver Public School District (DPS) announced Wednesday in a letter to parents that they're considering pushing back the start of the school year by one week.

Click/tap here to learn more about the possible delay

DPS is also working on a word problem.

It starts with 93,000 students.

You add in 15,000 employees. Of those, 5,600 are educators.

What happens if even one tests positive for COVID-19 during in-school learning this upcoming school year?

DPS is working on different "quarantine scenarios."

A draft list was sent to 9NEWS and verified as accurate. A DPS spokeswoman said that it is an internal draft, so nothing is final yet.

The draft lists out 13 different scenarios if there is a positive COVID-19 case.

"The ultimate goal of school planning is to minimize the number of people that would need to be quarantined if one person were infected with COVID," DPS writes in the draft scenarios. "This high level goal will not only minimize the spread of COVID in our communities, it will also prevent learning loss by keeping our students in school where they can be most easily engaged and supported by teachers."

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Here are some of the highlights from those still-draft scenarios.

For the following scenarios, a "cohort" is defined as a group of students participating in class together:

  • Elementary school students limited to 2 cohorts, class sizes of about 30 students, so an infection would quarantine no more than 60 students
  • Middle/high school students limited to 4 cohorts, class sizes of about 30 students, so an infection would quarantine no more than 120 students

Scenario 1:

  • One student tests positive for COVID-19, the following will quarantine (and students will remote learn) for 14 days:
    • All classmates of infected student
    • All students in school-sponsored before or after school activities with infected student
    • All teachers that teach the infected student
    • All adults that run school-sponsored activity with infected student
    • Anyone who spent time in the classroom within six feet of the student, for more than 10 minutes, during the previous 14 days

Scenario 2:

  • One teacher tests positive for COVID-19, the following will quarantine (and students will remote learn) for 14 days:
    • All students taught by teacher
    • All students present in classroom while teacher taught
    • Any adults that interacted within six feet of the teacher, for more than 10 minutes, during the previous 14 days

Scenario 3:

  • One administrator tests positive for COVID-19, the following will quarantine (and students will remote learn) for 14 days:
    • Any students who met in-person with administrator
    • Any adults that interacted within six feet of the teacher, for more than 10 minutes, during the previous 14 days

Scenario 4:

  • Child of a teacher tests positive for COVID-19, the following will quarantine (and students will remote learn) for 14 days:
    • If child is DPS student, scenario one rules apply, in addition to the next steps
    • Teacher must quarantine for 14 days
    • If teacher tests positive and was teaching among "cohort" while infectious, the cohort will quarantine

Scenario 5:

  • The child of an administrator tests positive for COVID-19, the following will quarantine (and students will remote learn) for 14 days:
    • If the child is a DPS student, scenario one rules apply, in addition to the next steps
    • Administrator must quarantine for 14 days
    • If administrator tests positive and was in a cohort while infectious, the cohort will quarantine

Scenario 6:

  • Sibling of a student tests positive for COVID-19, the following will quarantine (and students will remote learn) for 14 days:
    • If the sibling is a DPS student, scenario one rules apply, in addition to the next steps
    • Presumed uninfected sibling must quarantine for 14 days
    • If sibling tests positive and was in cohort, the cohort will quarantine for 14 days

Scenario 7:

  • One student who rides a DPS bus tests positive for COVID-19, the following will quarantine (and students will remote learn) for 14 days:
    • All students known to ride that bus in the previous 14 days will be asked to quarantine.
    • All students and teachers that had classes with infected student will be asked to quarantine

Scenario 8:

  • Multiple students test positive for COVID-19, the following will quarantine (and students will remote learn) for 14 days:
    • Scenario one rules apply
    • If more than four students test positive from same building, the school will shut down
    • School will receive deep cleaning in three or fewer days
    • After the deep cleaning, anyone not impacted by scenario one can return for in-person learning

Scenario 9:

  • Parent or guardian tests positive for COVID-19
    • Child of parent or guardian must quarantine for 14 days
    • If the child tests positive and was in cohort, the cohort must quarantine for 14 days

In the document that spells out these draft scenarios, DPS writes:

"In addition to quarantine groups required by the health guidance, school leaders may, at their discretion, choose to have additional teachers or students move to remote learning for a quarantine period if they determine that this is necessary to support learning and there are not better viable staffing options in [the] building."

In any of these scenarios, it will not be up to DPS to determine if someone is positive for COVID-19. A spokeswoman said schools will do health screenings, like temperature checks, but COVID-19 tests will not be performed.

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