Update, March 12, 12:40 p.m.: Two more Denver public elementary schools are closing because family members of students have confirmed cases of coronavirus, according to the school district. That brings the number of closed Denver public schools to three.
The three closed schools are:
Cory Elementary in southeast Denver
Edison Elementary in northwest Denver
John H. Amesse Elementary in far northeast Denver
John H. Amesse is the latest school to close. Denver Public Schools tweeted Thursday afternoon that Amesse was closing because two family members of an Amesse student have confirmed cases of COVID-19.
“Out of an abundance of caution, the district has decided to close John H. Amesse Elementary School for Thursday, March 12,” says a letter from Amesse Principal Angelina Walker. “We will take this time to thoroughly disinfect the school, including common areas and classrooms.”
The district announced Edison Elementary was closing Thursday morning. The parent of a student there also has a confirmed case of COVID-19. The parent’s child is now being tested for the virus, says a letter from Edison Principal Sally Whitelock.
Cory Elementary was closed for a second day Thursday. The parent who tested positive for coronavirus there has two children who attend Cory, and the school was waiting to see if the children had tested positive for the virus, too, according to an update to families.
Colorado Gov. Jared Polis issued new rules for coronavirus-related school closures Wednesday. Schools with one or two confirmed cases of COVID-19 among staff or students must close for 72 hours. Schools with three or more cases must close for 14 days. Any school district with cases at three or more schools must close all schools in the district for 14 days.
That guidance does not apply to schools where parents or caregivers, but not the students themselves, have tested positive. In those instances, the guidance leaves the decision up to district leaders. State public health officials said short-term closures while districts wait for test results from students are appropriate in those cases.