Coronavirus in Colorado: Fort Collins, Loveland schools cancel trips to limit spread
Poudre School District has canceled all out-of-state trips for students and staff through April in response to the coronavirus outbreak.
In an email sent to PSD families Tuesday, Superintendent Sandra Smyser said the decision was made "out of an abundance of caution and to limit the potential spreading of the COVID-19 virus."
Both district- and school-sponsored out-of-sate trips were canceled, including professional development trips. There were 21 corresponding trips scheduled between March 10 and the end of April.
"PSD has a responsibility for the health and wellbeing of our students and staff," Smyser wrote. "I will work with staff and public health officials to re-evaluate the situation and share an update about May travel in early to mid-April.
Other Colorado school districts and large organizations are implementing similar travel restrictions, Smyser noted.
Thompson School District, which borders PSD to the south, has canceled all district-sponsored trips for students and staff both internationally and to states that have declared a state of emergency.
Smyser said PSD chose to take a more holistic approach, acknowledging the list of states that have declared a state of emergency is continually changing.
"Like many of you, I am frustrated and disappointed," Smyser said. "I made this decision only after significant consideration of its far-reaching impacts"
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With spring break around the corner, Smyser said the district cannot control where students or staff personally travel. Additionally, the district is not capable of testing or quarantining students or staff for COVID-19-related symptoms.
"PSD is also asking parents and guardians, including those of students who haven’t traveled, to watch their students closely and seek medical care for any symptoms that appear connected to any respiratory illnesses," Smyser said.
Madeline Noblett, PSD director of communications, said the district's understanding is that the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment would notify providers and the Larimer County Department of Health and Environment of test results, who would then notify PSD if there was any district connection. They have not received such notification as of 4 p.m. Wednesday.
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Brooklyn Dance covers breaking news and K-12 education. Contact her at email@example.com or on Twitter @hibrookIyn.