Daily case counts, quarantines now available for Aspen School District
New dashboard for COVID information rolled out, will be updated daily
When it comes to COVID-19, the health of the Aspen School District is on full display in the form of an online dashboard that recently debuted.
Now, if you want to see how many cases are at a particular school or district-wide within a two-week timeline, the new COVID Dashboard provides data updated at approximately 2 p.m. daily.
“This is a rolling total for the last 14 days,” Superintendent David Baugh said while explaining the dashboard’s features during Monday’s board of education meeting. “And we thought this would be helpful for people to see just what’s happening, what’s happening where, and trying to provide an upper-level look at things.”
The dashboard updated Tuesday afternoon showed the district has a total of nine positive cases — seven among student body, two among its staff.
Five of those cases were connected to the high school, two to the elementary and two to the middle.
The dashboard’s data are based on results from asymptomatic testing the district has offered free to students and staff since the first week of November.
A positive test also is figured into the dashboard’s statistics in the event of a student whose positive COVID-19 test case came from outside the district’s program, and that person has been attending class in-person. However, the dashboard does not factor in data from a student not attending in-person class whose positive test result did not come through district testing.
The tests are taken on a voluntary basis and offered weekly to staff and students, regardless of whether they are teaching or taking their courses in-class or online. Testing at the district continues Wednesday. Curative, the Los Angeles-based lab that provides the tests and also analyzes them, had a backlog of tests and wasn’t delivering their results in the expected 48- to 72-hour time frame earlier this month. That has been corrected, according to the superintendent.
“They seem to be moving right along at this point,” Baugh said.
Students in The Cottage preschool and elementary school currently are attending class in-person, as well as fifth- and sixth-graders in the middle school. The seventh- and eighth-grade classes in middle school are in a two-cohort system where they alternate in-person and online classes on a weekly basis. The high school is completely remote.
Baugh said the dashboard is the result of executive assistant Eliza Robinson and technology director Chris Durham spending “countless hours of work in putting this together.”
The dashboard also provides quarantine figures for the campus buildings — from preschool through high school — as well as the transportation and district offices.
As of Tuesday, 75 students and 11 staff members, including five cohorts, were under quarantine. Three of those quarantined cohorts — 56 students and one staff member — are in the elementary school, while the middle school and district offices also have a single cohort in quarantine. The district office’s cohort, however, is limited to one person, according to the dashboard.
Historical data on the dashboard shows the 86 students and staff currently quarantined is the highest total since Nov. 15 and 16, both of which saw 115 individuals in quarantine. That’s also the highest number so far since the school began offering tests.
Additionally, information about where the virus was transmitted is available, the latest data showing that two cases were transmitted on campus and three outside of class, and the source of the other four unknown.
The superintendent said testing from the Thanksgiving break yielded encouraging results. He attributed that to the school community’s cooperation with health rules and practices. Baugh also said the vigilance must continue for the district’s well being.
“As everyone knows, winter break is coming so we’re going to ask you to do it all again — really keep those masks on; be very, very careful if you have to travel; take advantage of our testing,“ he said.
Baugh added that testing district-wide also will be available in January.
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Aspen School District will not mandate vaccines for students and doesn’t plan on implementing quarantines but is still evaluating mask policies for the 2021-22 school year, Superintendent David Baugh confirmed this week.