Rye High School returns to remote learning due to COVID-19 outbreak
Pueblo County School District 70 is expressing concerns about a recent rise in COVID-19 cases among students in the district.
The increase in cases has led to exposures of students at nine of the 21 schools in the district.
One of the major exposures was at Rye High School, where the school closed completely and returned to online learning due to a large number of students having to quarantine.
"We are concerned there is a lack of testing for variants in the community. There seems to be some extra steps needed in order to do that," said Todd Seip, public information officer at D70. "This is something we are tracking."
The district's COVID-19 response team, which investigates outbreaks and exposures that occur at the schools, suspects it originated from students at outdoor events held recently. Students were possibly not wearing masks and not practicing distancing.
"All we can do is do our best to protect students and staff members in the schools," Seip said.
Rye recently closed its building after it saw more than half of its students potentially exposed to the virus. The district believes some of the cases originated from a recent community event. Seip said the school believes a picnic was held a couple weeks ago where students had gathered, resulting in exposure to the virus.
"It makes us work overtime so that the schools can remain open fully in-person. We've heard from the state epidemiologist that a lot of the transmission is coming from extracurricular activities and outside groups," he said.
On April 5, the Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment reported four Rye students tested positive for COVID-19 and were sent into isolation while 100 students were forced to quarantine after being potentially exposed.
Seip said rather than placing blame, the focus is on preventing others from getting the virus and tracking the spread as quickly as possible.
Chieftain Education Reporter Joe McQueen can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter: @jmcqueennews.