Basalt Elementary Early Childhood Center closes after staffers test positive for COVID-19

Staff report
X’s mark six feet for social distancing outside of Basalt Elementary School on Tuesday, July 28, 2020.
Kelsey Brunner/The Aspen Times

Two Basalt Elementary Early Childhood Center staff members have tested positive for COVID-19 and another is showing symptoms, prompting its closure until Sept. 28, the school district said Monday night.

“Because of this situation, the Basalt Elementary Early Childhood Center will be short-staffed and will temporarily close until Sept. 28 during the 14-day quarantine period,” a news release from Roaring Fork School District states.

In addition to the three who have tested positive or are showing symptoms, eight staff members are quarantining, said Kelsy Been, Roaring Fork School District’s public information officer.

Out of 31 students attending, 12 are being quarantined. The remaining 19 were in a different cohort; Been said they would have been allowed to continue attending if it were not for the staffing shortage.

Pitkin and Garfield counties’ public health departments are coordinating the follow-up, Been said.

“The Roaring Fork Schools are working closely with Public Health and have contacted all students and staff who had close contact with those individuals,” the release states. “The district cannot divulge names to protect patient confidentiality.”

This is the second instance of multiple people testing positive for COVID-19 on the Basalt Elementary School grounds. Three counselors at a day care center based at the elementary school tested positive for COVID-19 during the summer.

In Aspen, the Cottage Preschool temporarily closed Aug. 28 after a student tested positive. The entire preschool, which is on the Aspen School District campus and provides day care for children of faculty and staff, as well as the public, reopened Sept. 8. It originally opened for the fall semester Aug. 19.

More recently, more than 100 students and staff members were asked to quarantine after close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 at Coal Ridge High School in Garfield Re-2 School District. Most classes at that school were temporarily moved to remote instruction.

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