School District in El Paso Will Not Report COVID Cases and Refuses to Assist with Contact Tracing

Holden Becker

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EL PASO COUNTY, CO – Due to the high rate of community transmission in some public areas, the rule asserted that contact tracing and reporting of COVID-19 are mandatory for schools. However, on August 19, 2021, District 49 in El Paso County published its position regarding the school obligations.

District 49 decided their schools will not facilitate any COVID case reporting and will not assist the contact tracing, as they said it is designed to direct healthy individuals into quarantine and isolation.

District 49 stated on their official website that no child in their district is reported to die from the virus, and many infected children don’t require hospitalization. District 49 also points out a bigger issue related to the mental health of the youth. They reported 15 teenagers committed suicide, and mental health illness should be taken into better consideration.

District 49 refuses to report any information about who may have COVID-19 in their school areas because they see that schools are not qualified to make a medical determination, and said that the lab or medical providers are more capable and equipped to do it instead. However, District 49 assures that they will continue to cooperate with El Paso County Public Health. District 49 will recommend those who feel concerned or have any worries about their status to directly consult with medical professionals.

It is also being said on the website that their decision still complies with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s guidance. District 49 will also take the leadership role in terms of providing quarantine and other health protocols. The district also appreciates those who take vaccine protection and yet respects those who choose not to get vaccinated.

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