D49 COVID-19 Tracking Dashboard

  • As the COVID-19 crisis has progressed, our ability to predict and respond to rising infection rates has improved. As a result, we are continuing to track the impact of positive cases on our students and staff as we conduct contact tracing, precautionary quarantines, and other protective measures.

     


     

D49 El Paso County COVID Data Update Nov. 30, 2020

  • OVERVIEW
    Key measures of population health continue to degrade, as they have for 13 weeks in a row, although the data levels and trends have become more volatile and erratic. El Paso County has entered Level Red—Severe Risk based on levels and trends across the three key metrics of case rate, positivity rate, and hospital burden. All three indicators are at critical levels. Because schools operate downstream from the community, we are directly subject to severe risk conditions. Based on our tracking and projection of those conditions, we transitioned District 49 to E49 effective three weeks ago today. Because we continue to offer limited in-person educational services, we are continuing to track and report instances of confirmed positive COVID infection, as well as resulting precautionary quarantines or isolation. Although we have managed those disruptions well, and although there has been low incidence of in-district transmission, we implore our community to stay vigilant and keep modeling the hygiene, distancing, and masking practices that have yielded positive results when practiced at scale and with fidelity.
     
    IMPLICATIONS of E49 RED
    For students, the implication is that most learning services are now delivered remotely, using online platforms and communications to facilitate instruction, interventions, and assessment. For some student groups, and for some specialized services, we continue providing opportunities for in-person, small group educational and other services. For students, there are minimal differences between E49 Orange and E49 Red.
     
    For educators, most educational delivery is delivered remotely, but we have directed principals and other supervisors to manage workforce schedules to achieve a maximum of 50% of workforce presence on site. Practically, this means that most educators and other colleagues will move closer to working on site two or three days a week, with some colleagues still working primarily or exclusively from the worksite, while others work primarily or exclusively from home.
     
    We are still scheduling administrators, professional-technical, and education support personnel to maintain in-person service for our public-facing mission, and to sustain work that requires presence at specific locations.
     
    *As promised, we’ll address a question on the minds of many, “Will D49 move learning and working to fully remote?” 
     
    The short answer is that we’ll remain in our current primarily E-Learning and 50% working configuration unless something major changes.  If El Paso County experiences a further surge through the holiday season, and if the county declares or is placed in Level Purple: Extreme Risk, that would be closer to a “shelter in place” status and we would move even more of our learning and working mission to remote status. However, even under those conditions we would not completely lock down our schools and facilities, as meal service and some limited special services would continue. Even though most of our workers are not considered “essential workers” schools are categorized as “critical businesses” and so we may continue to calibrate our workforce levels and student capacity to meet our mission. Just as they did in early August, county health leaders are recommending that we delay any return to in-person learning at scale until we have data from the impacts of the holiday season. We will follow that guidance and determine our January learning and working configuration before we leave for the District’s Christmas break on December 18.
     
     
    HEALTH DATA
    County health data has degraded substantially over the past 13 weeks, with adverse levels and inconsistent trends.


    On the three key population health measures, this is the status as of Monday morning, November 30, 2020: 
    Summary Chart:
     
     
    EPCPH chart Nov 30
     
     
    Key Measure #1:  14-Day Incidence per 100,000 *Lower is better
    Rating:  EXTREME RISK Level with Adverse Trend
    The Case Rate has stabilized from 1162 last Monday to 1149 today. We remain in the “Extreme Risk" range (>350).
    Guidance from county and other public health officials is to be cautious about the apparent plateau, as some of that pattern may be related to disruptions in testing and reporting during a holiday break. Additionally, increased social mobility and interactions over the holiday may cause a surge in 10-14 days.
     
     
    EPCPH chart Nov 30
     
    EPC PH chart Nov 30
     
     
    Key Measure #2: Daily PCR Test Positivity (14-Day Average) *Lower is better
    Rating:  HIGH RISK Level with Stable Trend
    The test positivity rate is at 14.74% today, above the public health target (maximum) of 5%. We want that number lower, so it is a matter of significant concern that the positive rating has been steadily increasing over the last month, matching the rise in case rates. The average turnaround time for test is stable at 2.64 days. Due to logistics realities for collection, transfer to lab, and lab processes, any average turnaround under two days is near optimal.
     
     
    EPCPH chart Nov 30
     
    Key Measure #3: Community Health Agency Burden
    Rating: POOR/STRAINED with Adverse (Increasing) Trend
    This measure is a composite of hospitalization and death rates, which reveal the intensity of infectious spread and resulting illness. Although it is a self-reported measure with some subjectivity, the fact that total hospitalizations has increased since early October is an indicator of increasing burden on hospital facilities and services. Note that hospitalizations are a lagging indicator following case rates and test positivity by approximately 10-14 days.
     
    EPCPH chart nov 30  
     
     
    DISTRICT INCIDENT DATA (Four-Week Lookback)
    Rating:  CONCERNING LEVEL with Declining Trend

    For this measure, I will link to the district dashboard which captures and presents the data I have previously reported from a previous database.
     
     

D49 Will Reinstitute E-Learning (E49) Beginning Mon. November 9

  • November 6, 2020

    Dear D49 Families, Students, and Staff,

    We are completing a very disruptive week in our community and in District 49. Our region has measured thousands of new COVID cases including 35 confirmed cases involving D49 students and staff. Two thirds of our schools have active precautionary quarantines affecting nearly 1,100 students and hundreds of staff members. It is straining our students and their families as well as the entire workforce family, with teachers and nurses especially impacted by unpredictable overloads. The staff who remain are stretched incredibly thin as we cannot secure enough substitute teachers, and there aren’t enough adults to cover all assignments. Five schools, serving over 4,400 students, have been displaced into E-Learning with less than a day’s notice. We’ve also seen our first school-based outbreaks (two of them), and two cases of verified, in-district transmission. The three-stage pattern of upheaval is now evident and inevitable. Surging infection cases from the community flow into our schools, creating quarantines that deplete our on-site staff, and in-person learning shuts down. Our schools are losing stability, and community conditions are beginning to compromise safety. Therefore, District 49 will transition back to E-Learning (E49) for most students-- all programs, PK-12-- on Monday, Nov 9, 2020.

    We understand and share the collective desire for more advanced notice about this transition. Unfortunately, the impacts of COVID disruptions accelerated so abruptly this week, that our timeframe to decide and communicate has been compressed. Rather than continuing to close in-person learning with less than a day’s notice, we decided to use as much of the weekend as possible for planning and adjustments. Every quarantine is disruptive, but switching whole schools to E-Learning with only hours to plan is chaotic for students’ learning and overloads our staff and families. The nature of the virus means we can’t predict which schools will go virtual tomorrow, but we can project that the number will multiply--especially by next Monday. We’ve passed the point where we can stay in front of this wave. It will overwhelm our district if we don’t reposition to the higher ground of E49.

    Bắn Cá Đổi Thưởng Trực Tuyến 2018Over the past 8 months, our community has experienced four waves in the pandemic, measured by the case rate per 100,000 on a 14-day average.

    • The first wave peaked with an average case rate of 55 (per 100K) on April 6. That wave receded to 32 on April 30.
    • The second wave climbed to 58 on May 26 and then receded to 29 on June 16.
    • The third wave climbed to 155 on July 29 and then receded back to 53 on September 11. 

    Each of these waves demonstrated time symmetry, taking about as long to recede as they did to build up. We are now in the upslope of a fourth wave, with case rates/100K already over 500 on November 5. As of today, there are over 3,700 active cases in our community. This wave has been building for 8 weeks, and recent spikes in transmission and test positivity ensure that it will keep climbing for quite some time—possibly cresting through the holiday season and into the new year. When it does recede, this wave will take many weeks to return to the yellow or blue levels of Safer at Home. Since schools are downstream of the community, we don’t anticipate returning to stable in-person conditions until some time in 2021. As a result, E49 will be in effect at least through the rest of this semester.

    Our parents, students, and staff have done a superlative job of keeping schools safe, but we’ve reached our limit. While we haven’t been perfect, our caution about symptoms and safety has secured 8 strong weeks of in-person and hybrid learning for families who wanted that option. We’ve built a foundation of learning and relationships that will serve us well as we transition back to E49. This is the decision we didn’t want to make and the announcement we didn’t want to draft, but we believe this is the responsible way forward - instead of rolling the dice and waiting to see which schools go virtual next.

    Bắn Cá Đổi Thưởng Trực Tuyến 2018The next several days will be confusing as all of us experience what many have already gone through, the short-notice transition to virtual learning. Learning will be disrupted, and all of our work will be impacted. Just as we did back in April, we’ll use the first day of E49 for students and teachers to gather materials and plan for next steps. That means Monday, November 9 will be a non-contact day for all teacher-directed learning—including special education. Students may keep working, but teachers and other staff will meet, plan, relocate where necessary and begin the transition process for all learners. Some class groups will change as we rebalance teaching loads and reorganize cohorts of students.

    Our teachers and other staff are more prepared than ever to deliver quality instruction during E49. We learned a lot last spring, and we continue learning and adapting as we serve almost a third of our students who opted for remote instruction. Our plans for device distribution will look different, as we work to give schools more local control of that process. Our process for grab-and-go school meals will look different too, as we establish locations and schedules to provide free school meals. We already have great participation in our before and after-school program called Base49, but we will work to increase capacity and availability of that resource during E49. Sadly, the decision to prioritize stability and safety will also suspend any sports or co-curricular activities that cannot shift to a virtual mode. Nearly all of our Season A sports have concluded, and Season B sports don’t start practice until January, so we hold out some hope that conditions will improve enough to support those activities.

    D49 is going virtual, but we’re still open for business. Our staff will continue working around the district and all of our schools, programs and operations will keep serving during E49. We will offer some on-site programming for students and groups that need in-person support, just as we did in late August, but we need to establish the best population and duration for those services. In particular, we will prioritize individualized services for students with learning plans, interventions for at-risk students, and core instruction support for our youngest learners.

    Bắn Cá Đổi Thưởng Trực Tuyến 2018As a district of choice, we are proud to authorize a community of excellent charter schools, each with its own governing board and unique community conditions. Although the shift to E49 will limit our district’s ability to provide a full suite of services, we will collaborate with individual schools and their leaders to support their decisions and plans.

    Bắn Cá Đổi Thưởng Trực Tuyến 2018We fully understand that this announcement does not have sufficient detail to fully guide our transition. For this weekend and the start of next week, we ask that everybody stay attentive for more information from departments and schools.

    Bắn Cá Đổi Thưởng Trực Tuyến 2018We thank you for your patience, understanding and trust. We will walk forward together with respect, care and our shared commitment to delivering excellent education in stable and safe environments.

    Sincerely,

    Peter Hilts
    Bắn Cá Đổi Thưởng Trực Tuyến 2018Chief Education Officer

    Brett Ridgway
    Bắn Cá Đổi Thưởng Trực Tuyến 2018Chief Business Officer

    Pedro Almeida
    Chief Operations Officer



D49 Community Update October 2020 & Survey

  • D49 Community Update from Chief Education Officer Peter Hilts, October 2020

     

     

    Dear D49 Family, We are coming up on fall break! School year 2020-21 is well underway, and we thank you for working so hard as we wrap up our first quarter and continue our gradual return to in-person learning. We will maintain our current, full population model for elementary students, and our 50-50 hybrid for middle and high school students through fall break and for at least two weeks after we resume on October 26.

    We invite you to join us for a message from D49 Chief Education Officer Peter Hilts, and take a brief survey to share what you think about our effectiveness as we continue school year 20-21 and our gradual return to in-person learning. You’ll find the link in this post, in your in-box and online at D49.org.

    Thank you for your hard work, and your honest feedback.

    Have a great fall break!

    Survey link:


Please keep students home if they don’t feel well

  • Dear D49 Families, 

    We want to share a friendly reminder that sending learners to school requires at-home health screening every day.  

    Along with the excitement of reuniting and getting to know each other in our return to in-person learning, we are already experiencing the challenges of illness in our classrooms. As we are seeing, even minor symptoms can have significant ripple effects to our return to in-person learning. Guidance from our partners at El Paso County Public Health supports our nursing staff as they assess children showing COVID-like symptoms at school, and also informs their appropriate response, which in some cases requires sending home cohorts of learners and school staff.

     

    Parents can help! Please keep students home if they don’t feel well, or are experiencing symptoms in the following checklists: 

    Symptoms Observed or Reported: 

     

    1 or more MAJOR SYMPTOMS

    • Feeling feverish, having chills or temp of 100.4F or greater
    • New or unexplained persistent cough
    • New or unexplained shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
    • Loss of sense of taste or smell

     

    2 or more MINOR SYMPTOMS

    • Sore throat
    • Runny nose or congestion
    • Muscle or body aches
    • Headache
    • Fatigue
    • Nausea, vomiting
    • Diarrhea

     

    EMERGENCY COVID-19 WARNING SIGNS include: trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion, inability to wake or stay awake, bluish lips or face. Seek medical attention immediately by calling 911. 


    Students should stay home if they are experiencing: 

    1 or more major symptoms and/or 2 or more minor symptoms indicated on the table above. 

    This, and more useful information may be found on the D49 Nursing Services webpage. We encourage all of our families to become familiar with this process. Paired with our system of safety protocols, following these steps will give D49 our best chance at making this school year the safe and memorable one we know it can be. 

    Thank you for your time, understanding, and enduring trust.


  • D49 El Paso County COVID Data Update Nov. 23, 2020

  • D49 El Paso County COVID Data Update Nov. 16, 2020

  • D49 El Paso County COVID Data Update Nov. 9, 2020

  • D49 El Paso County COVID Data Update Nov. 2, 2020

  • D49 El Paso County COVID Data Update Oct. 26, 2020

  • D49 El Paso County COVID Data Update Oct. 19, 2020

  • D49 El Paso County COVID Data Update Oct. 12, 2020

  • D49 El Paso County COVID Data Update Oct. 5, 2020

  • D49 El Paso County COVID Data Update Sept. 28, 2020

  • Video: D49 CEO Return to Learn Update, 9/25/20

  • D49 El Paso County COVID Data Update Sept. 21, 2020

  • D49 El Paso County COVID Data Update Sept. 14, 2020

  • District 49 will begin the 20-21 school year

  • Suspending Volunteer Service

  • Return to Learn: August 17 Start

Public Health Data

  • The data graphs in the the D49 weekly update come from the EPCPH Data Dashboard. 

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