No COVID-19 found at Yellow Brick preschool |

No COVID-19 found at Yellow Brick preschool

Parents pick up their children at the city's Yellow Brick Building on North Garmisch Street.
Aspen Times File

Students and staff at an Aspen preschool closed last week for a possible COVID-19 outbreak have so far tested negative for the virus, though a small number of test results is still pending, an official said Tuesday.

However, Pitkin County’s Public Health Department has directed The Early Learning Center at the Yellow Brick Building to keep two of its eight classrooms closed for the week as a precaution, said Josh Vance, a county epidemiologist.

“It is good news,” Vance said.

Public health officials directed the preschool to close July 29 to July 31 after several children and adults from the two classrooms reported COVID-19-like symptoms. Officials tested 10 to 12 people and received all negative results as of Tuesday, though at least two tests were pending because of long waits for results from labs processing tests, Vance said.

“I was very relieved,” said Carrie Tippet, the preschool’s executive director. “I know our staff and parents were relieved as well.”

It is still not clear what illness the children and adults might have or have had, Vance said. Though at least one case of hand, foot and mouth disease was reported, it likely isn’t the culprit because it usually presents with a rash, which wasn’t present, he said.

“We have strep throat going around,” Vance said. “There’s a lot of things it could be.”

Tippet said last week that the main symptoms were congestion and a persistent cough.

Without a certain diagnosis, however, state public health department guidelines direct officials to close the two classrooms where the symptoms came from for the rest of the week, Vance said. They will be allowed to open again Monday because that will mark two weeks after the symptoms were first reported, he said.

The county’s health department has received no other reports of additional illness since last week, Vance said. Tippet also said no more cases have turned up this week.

The Early Learning Center’s other six classrooms resumed classes Monday, Tippet said Tuesday.

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