21-22 COVID UPDATES
UPDATED MAY 10, 2022
Quarantine and Isolation Guidance
Please refer to DPS' COVID-19 Screening and COVID-19 Testing Decision Tree for guidance on when students or staff should quarantine or isolate. If students have any of the below symptoms they should stay home and call the school immediately.
- Loss of taste and/or smell
- Feeling feverish, having chills or a temperature of 100.4 degrees F or higher
- New or unexplained persistent cough
- Shortness of breath
- Difficulty breathing
- Muscle aches
- Sore throat
- Nausea or vomiting
- Runny nose or congestion
In accordance with the guidance of the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment (DDPHE) and the Tri-County Health Department masks are strongly recommended for all students, staff and visitors on all of our campuses. We reserve the right to require masks in the future should a new variant or health conditions warrant.
Vaccinating your student is the best way to prevent disruptions to in-person learning and to keep our communities safe. You can find more information about vaccines here.
Quarantine and isolation guidance
- Please access this tool in English or Spanish for guidance on isolating or quarantining after testing positive for COVID-19 or after an exposure. The tool can also be checked daily before coming to school.
- Read more about the benefits of vaccination here and here.
- Find information about vaccine sites through Denver Public Schools here.
COVID-19 Testing Resources
- Find COVID-19 testing locations and resources here.
- Information about at-home rapid COVID-19 test can be found here.
COMMUNITY SAMPLE TESTING
We are excited to continue our partnership with COVIDCheck Colorado to provide free, fast, and convenient COVID-19 community sample testing to all in-person staff and students this school year. We encourage all families to enroll your student in the sample testing program. If you were enrolled in the program last year, you need to re-enroll for this school year.
Community sample testing is the process of testing a small group of individuals within the community regularly to mitigate asymptomatic community spread of the virus. We will offer free weekly on-site community sample testing to staff and students beginning Monday, September 13th. If you consent to your child being tested it does not mean they will be tested each week, but that they are part of the group eligible for testing and will be tested at least monthly. You will be notified of their results via text and email within 24-48 hours of their test.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is DSST continuing in-person learning?
DSST is committed to continuing in-person learning as long as it is safe to do so. Precautions are being taken to ensure the health and safety of all our students, staff and community. The more students and staff who are vaccinated, the safer our return will be with less likelihood of disruptions to in-person learning. Find out how to get vaccinated here. Masks are strongly recommended for all students, staff and visitors to all DSST campuses, and KN-95 or similar tight-fitting masks are recommended.
Does my child have to wear a mask?
- All staff, students and visitors in a DSST building are strongly encouraged to wear a mask, especially if they are not vaccinated or are immuno-compromised.
- Masks will not be required outside, since the risk of COVID transmission is significantly lower outdoors.
Why is DSST making the decision to lift the mask mandate now? Shouldn’t we wait until cases are even lower/vaccination rates are higher?
- DSST is following recommendations from our local public health agency, DDPHE and TriCounty Public Health, which we have consistently followed throughout the pandemic. Our health partners made this decision based on high rates of immunity and lower rates of severe disease in our communities. This video from DPS features Dr. Steve Federico of Denver Health provides further explanation behind the DDPHE decision.
Are unvaccinated individuals still required to wear a mask?
- DSST strongly recommends that unvaccinated individuals wear masks at all times when around staff and students, but they are not required to do so based on DPHE guidance.
If I believe that I or a household member will be at risk based on this decision, who should I speak to?
- If you have concerns about the impact of this decision on you or a member of your household, please contact your School Director to discuss these concerns.
If I’m uncomfortable being around others without masks, can I ask them to wear a mask while around me?
- DSST leaders will continue to prioritize our community’s health and safety. We have staff members and family members who cannot get vaccinated or are immuno-compromised. For this reason, we will strongly recommend that all students and staff continue to wear a mask while indoors. We also understand that continuing to wear a mask (or not) is your family’s decision, and we will work to ensure that family decisions are respected by all members of our community in alignment with our core values.
What is DSST doing to increase health and safety measures while the mask mandate is lifted?
- We have held a high standard for health and safety throughout the pandemic and will continue to do so. Some specific measures we are taking in response to this change:
- We will continue to have KN95 masks and surgical masks available for students and staff who want them.
- Hand sanitizer and hand soap will be regularly available and disinfectant spray will continue to be available in every classroom.
- We will continue to offer regular COVID testing across the network, and we have ordered 7,500 Rapid Test kits (two tests per kit) for students and staff who need them.
- We will monitor local and state guidance on additional protocols for classrooms, and ensure we are following local guidance on gatherings to ensure assemblies and events are safe for everyone.
Is my child required to get vaccinated?
DSST students are not required to be vaccinated, but it is strongly encouraged. More information about the vaccine and how to get vaccinated can be found here.
Will my child have to quarantine if they are exposed?
- Students who are vaccinated will not need to quarantine if they have a close contact with another person. Unvaccinated students will need to quarantine after a close contact with a positive case.
What will happen if my child tests positive for COVID-19?
DSST will follow the Colorado isolation requirements, and anyone who tests positive for COVID must isolate and stay home from school for 5 days, (from the earlier of symptoms onset or testing positive), as long as symptoms are resolving and they are fever free for at least 24 hours.
Are DSST staff required to be vaccinated?
Per guidelines from Denver Public Schools and Aurora Public Schools, vaccination is strongly recommended for all DSST staff members, unless they receive a medical or religious exemption.