1,700 Cherry Creek High School students in remote learning after COVID-19 outbreak

More than 1,700 students at Cherry Creek High School are now attending classes remotely after an outbreak of positive COVID-19 cases was detected among the student body.

In a letter to families, the district said “several” 12th-grade students tested positive, forcing 14 staff members and 146 other students into quarantine until Sept. 23. Abbe Smith, spokesperson for Cherry Creek School District, did not specify exactly how many cases were reported, as some individuals are still waiting for their test results. It’s “definitely under 10” positive cases, she said.

An additional 1,585 students in the same cohort have been moved to remote learning for the duration of the quarantine period. Those students are still able to participate in sports and other activities, the district said — except for those determined to be close contacts, who must quarantine.

About 3,500 ninth- through 12th-graders attend Cherry Creek High School and because of the size of enrollment, students are divided into two cohorts this semester, said Smith. She did not detail how, if at all, this incident may affect in-person learning operations moving forward.

Cherry Creek School District said the cases “have been tied directly to students attending off-campus parties the last two weekends,” adding that the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment classified the cases as an outbreak.

The state puts that list out on Wednesday afternoons and has previously reported at least five other schools to be the site of outbreaks.

Earlier this month, Heritage High School in Littleton moved its entire student body to remote learning for two weeks after about one-third of teachers were forced to quarantine due to possible COVID-19 exposure.

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