Parents of School-Aged Children
We know that there are many questions about sending your child to school during the COVID-19 Pandemic. If, after reading this page, you have further questions, contact our Call Center at 303-220-9200. If you have questions about why your child is in quarantine, they are best directed to your child’s school.
Currently, schools in our jurisdiction must follow guidance from CDPHE for Cases and Outbreaks in Childcares and Schools.
We encourage and provide support to schools to help them follow this guidance. If you have additional concerns, please fill out this form.
- CDC: Managing Anxiety and Stress
- CDC: Protect Your Family
- CDPHE: Prevention and Community Spread
- CDPHE: Reducing fear and taking care of yourself
- CDPHE: What to do when school is closed?
- CDPHE: Worker's Rights and Resources
- Colorado Crisis Services line
- EnableMyChild: Therapy for children
- Return to Work Guidance
- Sanvello: an app to improve mental health
- Tri-County: Resources in Adams, Arapahoe and Douglas Counties
What is Quarantine?
Both quarantine and isolation help protect the public by preventing exposure to people who are sick or have been exposed to people who are sick. Generally, a person's residence is the preferred setting for both quarantine and isolation.
Quarantine applies to people who have had close contact with a person who either had a positive test or symptoms - even early symptoms - of illness.
What is Isolation?
Isolation or self-isolation applies to people who have a positive COVID-19 test, have symptoms of COVID-19, are getting ill and think they might have COVID-19
What is a close contact?
A close contact is a person who:
- Was within six feet of someone who has COVID-19 (even if they did not have symptoms) for 15 minutes
- Provided care for someone who is sick with COVID-19
- Had direct physical contact with someone who is sick with COVID-19
- Got exposed to respiratory droplets from someone who is sick with COVID-19 (through coughing, sneezing, shouting, etc.)
- Was in the same class/cohort as a person with COVID-19
For pre-K and child care settings, additional types of close contact such as diapering, feeding and holding should be considered. Due to the close proximity of caregiver and child in these circumstances, very short durations of exposure will warrant quarantine if a case is detected in a caregiver or child.
Does Tri-County mandate what a school is doing in regards to the COVID-19 response?
When would I hear from my child's school and when would I hear from Tri-County?
If you or your child tests positive for COVID-19 we will contact you. During the case investigation interview, we will determine who the positive case was in close contact with and provide quarantine instructions.
If your child attends school with a student/teacher that tests positive with COVID-19, the school will work with us to determine who within the school needs to quarantine. If your child was in close contact you will hear from us or the school regarding how long to quarantine. If your child was not in close contact, it is not required for the school to reach out to you or your child.
The school is taking all of the required preventive measures like keeping students six-feet apart, requiring masks and frequently disinfecting surfaces. How were they exposed?
Why can't the school or public health department tell me what classroom it was or who was sick?
There are a variety of regulations and laws that require the protection of individual's information and identity as part of infectious disease public health response - this includes HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act). This means we are unable to provide specific information about individuals who are ill or test positive for infectious diseases.
If you or someone in your family tested positive for COVID, we would be unable to provide your private information to other callers.
Why did you quarantine so many kids?
We follow current Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) school guidance which states that when there is a case of COVID in a classroom or cohort (i.e. specified group of people), that entire classroom or group will need to enter into quarantine. CDPHE does allow targeted quarantine when a school is able to meet a set of standards in middle and high school. The school and school district determines who within the school needs to quarantine based on this guidance.
At this time, mask usage and social distancing within that classroom does not override the need to quarantine when there is an identified case. More information.
I do not believe my child should have been quarantined, who makes these decisions?
The school and school district use the guidance provided by the state to determine who was in close contact. We work with the school to determine the infectious period for the child/staff member who tested positive for COVID-19. Once the exposed people are determined, we will work with the school district for dates for quarantine.
If my child needs to quarantine do I or their siblings need to quarantine?
Can a negative test release my child from quarantine?
A negative test does not end the quarantine period early or allow them to return to school because they may become ill or test positive later in the14-day quarantine period. The quarantine period is based on the incubation period of COVID-19.
Does Tri-County follow up on children/staff who are in quarantine?
Does our school have an outbreak?
My child seems to have a cold, do I need to keep them home?
CDPHE has created a screening tool to help you decide when to keep students home.
Does my school have a travel ban for students and staff?
Please refer to CDC COVID-19 travel website on guidance regarding international travel. There are currently no state to state specific recommendations for Colorado residents. A school can always create more restrictive policies/procedures.