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Adams 14 COVID-19 Employee Safety Protocols

2022-2023 Adams 14 Employee COVID-19 Safety Protocols

Adams County School District 14’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols align with guidance from state and local health agencies, including the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) and Tri-County Health Department (TCHD).

As we begin the 2022-2023 school year, the TCHD has released important COVID-19 updates.
TCHD has transitioned its COVID-19 response away from a case-investigation response model to a typical routine disease control model in schools. Based on this guidance, Adams 14 has developed a protocol that keeps students and staff safe while maintaining the district’s educational goals. 

As was conducted at the end of the 2021-2022 school year, there will be a reduced emphasis on case investigation and quarantine. Adams 14’s response will focus on reporting clusters of cases, outbreaks, and evidence of ongoing transmission in schools to health agencies. 

As new data and public health recommendations emerge, Adams 14 will update its COVID-19 protocols for the 2022-2023 school year. 

Adams 14 COVID-19 Response Team 

Colorado law requires that schools and childcare facilities continue to report single COVID-19 cases to the TCHD. The Adams 14 COVID-19 Response Team (CRT) is responsible for tracking new suspected cases and reporting new positive cases to TCHD. 

As the CRT learns of clusters of cases and/or possible outbreaks, it will report those cases and implement a determined course of action from the TCHD. The response team also keeps Adams 14 administration informed on outbreaks, new recommendations and/or requirements, and increased cases. 

District and school leaders should remind staff members to stay up to date with vaccinations, stay home when sick, test when symptomatic, and isolate if they test positive for COVID-19. 

COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) Leave and Adams 14 Policy

On Jan. 1, 2021, Colorado required employers to provide employees with a one-time allotment of paid leave for COVID-related needs (80 hours if full-time, less if part-time). The PHE leave remains in effect until at least Nov. 10, 2022. Employees can use PHE leave up to four weeks after a public health emergency ends. 

Employees may still have PHE hours available to use if they did not use them in 2021. However, employees do not get 80 hours each time they have a COVID-related need, and they do not get 80 hours of PHE leave in 2022 unless they are newly hired full-time employees. 

PHE leave may be used for a variety of COVID-related needs, not only for confirmed cases, which can include but are not limited to:

  • Illness with COVID-19 symptoms
  • Quarantining or isolating due to COVID-19 exposure
  • COVID-19 testing
  • Vaccination and side effects
  • Inability to work due to health conditions that may increase susceptibility or risk of COVID-19
  • COVID-related needs of family (illness, school closure, etc.).

Employers cannot require documentation from employees to show that leave is for COVID-related needs. Click here to learn more about the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Leave. 

COVID-related leave is reviewed by Human Resources and adjusted accordingly. Per Adams 14 policy, employees must have first exhausted their own paid leave before using any remaining PHE leave. In other words, an employee cannot use PHE leave unless they have no more paid leave hours left to use. 

Employees Who Test Positive or Suspect a Possible COVID-19 Case

If an employee tests positive for COVID-19 or is experiencing symptoms, they must complete the following steps:

  1. Report the positive or suspected case to their department supervisor or building leader (e.g., principal, assistant principal, secretary). 
  2. Add their absence themselves into the Absence Management (formerly AESOP) system and indicate their leave as paid leave, which may be adjusted once Human Resources reviews the entry. 
  3. Finally, complete the Adams 14 COVID-19 Response Team health questionnaire. 

Once the questionnaire is completed, the district’s response team will review the information and reach out to the employee and their supervisor with a return date. 

Note to department and building leaders: If an employee contacts you over the weekend or after work hours, please direct them to complete the questionnaire instead of contacting the response team directly. This will help expedite the process and avoid delays in employee contact.