Updated March 2, 2022, to reflect the changes to guidance for those using transportation.
Dear DPS Community,
As we continue to work closely with our trusted health partners and navigate the changing health landscape, we wanted to share some reminders and updates about our COVID guidelines.
To start, while today is the last day DPS requires mask-wearing in DPS buildings, masks are still highly encouraged for students, staff and others in our buildings. As a reminder, those using DPS transportation will still be required to wear a mask, per federal guidelines.
Additionally, as we look ahead to the next phase of the pandemic, DPS will move to a disease-control model for COVID-19. These guidelines more closely align our COVID-19 efforts with the public health response strategies used for other infectious diseases in schools, such as the flu. They will go into effect Monday, Feb. 28 (unless otherwise noted).
All updates will be reflected on COVID guidance page on the DPS website, once they go into effect. In the meantime, please review the below for more information about these adjustments.
Guidance for School Events, Visitors and Operations
- Visitors, volunteers, and families are permitted at schools and in school buildings.
- Athletic events, student performances, competitions and school events (such as graduation and school dances) can operate at full capacity, as permitted by the size of the venue, and without further health-related restrictions.
- Student meal times can resume normal operations.
- All in-person meetings can return to full capacity, and virtual platforms can continue to be used for meetings as appropriate.
Per new guidance through the CDC, masks will not be required on school buses.
COVID Positive Cases and Reporting
- If a student or staff member tests positive for COVID, they are required to report their case by letting their school or supervisor know.
- The positive individual is required to stay home and isolate for 5 days past the first day of symptoms (or 5 days past the testing date if they are asymptomatic). They may return on day 6 as long as they are fever-free and feeling mostly better. We ask this individual to continue wearing a mask while indoors during days 6-10 after the first day of symptoms or testing date.
- If a household member tests positive, individuals who are not vaccinated or up-to-date on the vaccine should quarantine for 5 days following the last day of exposure.
- All reported cases will appear as active on the DPS COVID Dashboard for 5 days, per CDC guidance.
COVID Contact Tracing and Quarantines
- Contact tracing and school-dictated quarantines for COVID will no longer be required by DPS. DPS will follow CDPHE’s guidance and defer to the local health department if quarantines are needed.
- Per CDPHE, if a school experiences an outbreak of COVID, the public health department may implement strategies such as universal masking indoors, physical distancing, testing, contact tracing, and quarantine for close contacts.
- Those returning to a DPS school or building after being COVID positive are asked to follow CDC and CDPHE guidelines to properly wear a mask for the 6-10 days after an infection.
COVID Vaccinations and Boosters
- Beginning March 5, the city’s public health order will have ended, COVID vaccines will not be mandated in DPS for visitors and students, and they will no longer be mandated for staff. At that time, new hires will not be required to show proof of vaccination, and boosters will not be required.
- We strongly encourage all staff, students and families to access COVID vaccines and boosters, including through our Denver Health School-Based Health Centers in schools across the district. Call 303-602-8958 to make an appointment.
Strategies to Stay Healthy
To support these new guidelines while continuing to prioritize each other’s health and safety, we’ve updated our DPS 5. This revised guidance includes:
- Self-monitor for symptoms of illness, and stay home if you are sick.
- Masks are still strongly encouraged.
- Maintain physical distance when possible.
- Be thoughtful when planning meetings and events.
- Practice good hygiene.
We understand these steps toward “normal” may come with emotions and questions for many of our families. Please review this FAQ for more answers to questions you may have.
As throughout the pandemic, we will continue to monitor the health landscape and work closely with our health partners to make adjustments as needed. As a DPS community, we will work toward a “new normal” together.