Track COVID in Fort Collins schools: Poudre School District reports more than 1,200 cases since fall

Molly Bohannon
Fort Collins Coloradoan

As COVID-19 cases are slowly decreasing across Colorado, Poudre School District has made a full return to in-person education.

Elementary schools moved to Phase 4 learning on Jan. 19, meaning they are completely in person. Middle and high schools transitioned to Phase 4 later in the semester on March 22; they were previously in hybrid learning. 

PSD originally expected middle and high schoolers to return to in-person learning on Feb. 1 and Feb. 8, but Interim Superintendent Todd Lambert announced on Jan. 21 that the target dates to move to Phase 4 were being left open to allow the district to monitor trends and evaluate the prevalence of new strains of the disease. 

COVID in Colorado:Case information for April 2021

A staff member helps direct a student at Zach Elementary School as students return to in-person learning in Fort Collins, Colo. on Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021.

On Jan. 29, Gov. Jared Polis announced educators would begin to be vaccinated on Feb. 8 with the goal of having all Colorado educators vaccinated by Feb. 28. PSD released a statement recognizing this development as “a positive move forward that supports PSD’s plans to keep schools open."

Data from the state provided at a March 9 press conference showed that 90% of Pre-K through 12th-grade educators and childcare workers had received a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. The district later cited teacher vaccinations as a factor in deciding to move middle and high schools to Phase 4. 

On March 22, PSD changed its quarantine policies for exposed staff and students, allowing those who want to to "test out" of quarantine early. To end a quarantine early, the person must get approval from the PSD COVID-19 response team.

The two shortened quarantine options are a 7-day option in which the asymptomatic person has to quarantine for seven days and can return on the eighth day with a negative test, or the 10-day option in which the person is asymptomatic and can return after 10 days without a negative test. For more information on these protocols, visit PSD's COVID-19 protocols page

Vaccine update:More than 75% of Colorado educators, child care workers have first dose of vaccine

To keep track of how PSD's return to in-person learning goes, the Coloradoan has launched a COVID-19 tracker to be updated weekly. We will break down each school’s cases by infected students and staff and report outbreaks causing students' return to remote learning. 

All data is reported by PSD. The below data includes cases from Oct. 5 — the first day elementary students were in session — to April 13. For more data, visit Poudre School District’s COVID-19 dashboard

COVID-19 in PSD schools

These case numbers were last updated on April 14 and 36 schools had reported 10 or more cases. As of this update, PSD reported 1,212 cases, which is 80 more than the Coloradoan's previous update on April 7.

Of the total cases, 620 have been reported in 2021.

Use the search bar below to identify a specific school or type of school within PSD. This data will be updated weekly. 

Schools and COVID:School COVID-19 outbreaks are a big part of Larimer County's evolving pandemic landscape

COVID-19 outbreaks in PSD schools

When a school has two or more unrelated cases in a small amount of time, it is considered an outbreak by Larimer County. As of April 14, there are five active outbreaks in PSD: 

  • Fort Collins High School
  • Fossil Ridge High School 
  • Kinard Middle School
  • Poudre High School
  • Rocky Mountain High School

As of April 14, there have been 13 resolved outbreaks in PSD: 

  • Shepardson Elementary School, resolved April 6, 2021
  • Blevins Middle School, resolved March 30, 2021
  • Johnson Elementary School, resolved March 28, 2021
  • Bauder Elementary School, resolved March 15, 2021
  • Werner Elementary, resolved March 5, 2021
  • Boltz Middle School, resolved Jan. 19, 2021
  • Shepardson Elementary School, resolved Jan. 16, 2021
  • Preston Middle School, resolved Jan. 3, 2021
  • Cache La Poudre Middle School, resolved Jan. 2, 2021
  • Lesher Middle School, resolved Dec. 31, 2020
  • Fort Collins High School, resolved Dec. 27, 2020
  • Poudre High School, resolved Dec. 27, 2020
  • Rice Elementary School, resolved Dec. 7, 2020

Editor's note: This story has a correction. Elementary students returned to full-time learning on Jan. 19. The date was incorrect in a previous version of the story.

Molly Bohannon covers education for the Coloradoan. Follow her on Twitter @molboha or contact her at mbohannon@coloradoan.com. Support her work and that of other Coloradoan journalists by purchasing a digital subscription today.