Denver Public Schools to Partner with Gary Community Investments’ COVIDCheck Colorado to Provide Access to COVID-19 Testing and Symptom Tracking for Staff
Aug. 3, 2020
Partnership provides opportunities for on-going coronavirus testing
DENVER – In an effort to enhance the safety of students, families and educators this fall, Denver Public Schools (DPS) is giving employees the opportunity to participate in coronavirus testing. Through a partnership with COVIDCheck Colorado, a social benefit enterprise of Gary Community Investments, DPS will provide all staff access to fast and accurate COVID-19 testing, symptom tracking and tools to support public health department contact-tracing efforts.
Beginning the week of Aug. 10, DPS will provide all asymptomatic employees who are school based or working in person access to schedule COVID-19 diagnostic testing at various COVIDCheck Colorado drive-through sites.
Testing will be available to all school-based employees and those working in person. The district recommends staff get tested up to two weeks before returning to their worksite. All full-time and part-time team members will be able to get tested roughly every two weeks. This may be adjusted based on results of tests and prevalence of COVID-19 in the community.
“We are committed to providing the safest environment possible for our students and staff as we prepare to resume in-person learning in our buildings,” said DPS Superintendent Susana Cordova. “The COVID-19 testing, combined with symptom tracking tools, will help us manage potential outbreaks before they start and quickly provide support to anyone who tests positive for the virus. We hope that this new tool helps ease the minds of our students, staff and families.”
COVIDCheck Colorado’s integrated approach provides staff with the ability to schedule an appointment for a COVID-19 test at a designated DPS site or any COVIDCheck Colorado site in the metro area, with test results expected back in 72 hours or less. Those who test positive for the virus will receive a phone call from a telehealth provider who will guide them on best practices to help slow the spread to anyone else. As required by law, all positive cases will be reported to local public health agencies and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. Those who have been exposed to the virus will be notified in accordance with the state’s contact tracing protocols and health privacy practices.
Through COVIDCheck Colorado, staff and families of students will also have access to a mobile-friendly website that can be used to track and report symptoms every morning before staff and students get to work and school. If an individual has symptoms, the tool may recommend that they not come to school and provide them with suggested next steps, including getting tested right away and quarantining until negative results return. Designated district staff will have access to a HIPAA-compliant dashboard displaying the district’s test results and symptom data to help stop potential outbreaks before they start.
“As the largest and one of the most diverse districts in the state, DPS has a sacred responsibility to support students, staff and families who want and need a safe place to further their education,” said Gary Community Investments CEO Mike Johnston. “COVIDCheck Colorado’s approach to system wide testing, symptom tracking and support of the state’s contact tracing efforts will help provide DPS real time data on the health of teachers and staff across the district. This regular, reliable information will help school leaders and public health officials make informed decisions about how to provide an educational program that serves the best interest of staff, students and families.”
DPS will share additional information in the coming weeks with staff members about how and when they can begin to schedule tests prior to the start of the school year.