Adams 12: COVID restrictions on student-athletes are unfair

CDPHE changes rules two days after Gdowski's request

Steve Smith
ssmith@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 3/2/21

Adams 12 School District Superintendent Chris Gdowski thinks a mandatory 14-day quarantine period for student-athletes who either test positive or are potentially exposed to coronavirus isn't fair. …

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Adams 12: COVID restrictions on student-athletes are unfair

CDPHE changes rules two days after Gdowski's request

Posted

Adams 12 School District Superintendent Chris Gdowski thinks a mandatory 14-day quarantine period for student-athletes who either test positive or are potentially exposed to coronavirus isn't fair.

Two days later, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment decreased that period of time from 14 days to 10.

Those who are under quarantine should monitor for coronavirus symptoms for 14 days from date of exposure, though. 

As of March 4, it wasn't clear what was going to happen to some 100 student-athletes in the Adams 12 district who were in quarantine and, perhaps, not able to compete in league, regional or state competitions as the so-called “Season B” sports season draws to a close. League swim meets are this weekend, as were regional wrestling tournaments.

Gdowski said most of those student-athletes were asymptomatic.

Legacy High School had to cancel nine athletic contests, including its last five girls' basketball games because of potential exposure. Westminster High School, part of which is in District 12, had played four boys' basketball games through the first of this week.

Two basketball teams, one from Jefferson County, were taken off the floor a minute before their March 1 game because of potential exposure. Three boys basketball teams in the neighboring Brighton school distrct saw their seasons end this week because of COVID protocols.

Gdowski sent a letter to the Colorado Department of Public Health outlining his concerns. His letter said guidance from the Centers for Disease Control said the chances of contracting the virus decrease to 4 percent after seven days of quarantine and a 1.4 percent risk following a 10-day quarantine.

“Something I struggle with is that when students get into days 11 through 14 of the quarantine, the chance of them getting COVID is 0.1 of 1 percent,” Gdowski said during a Zoom call on March 2. “Many other districts face the same challenge.”

"Lack of a uniform quarantine period has been problematic to operationalize for our schools and their students," said Dr. John Douglas, executive director of the Tri County Health Department March 2. "Although athletic events do create greater potential for transmission and outbreaks, we think that the idea of using pre-event rapid testing out to 14 days following an initial seven- to 10-day quarantine period can reduce risk sufficiently to make this proposal a practical compromise."

Gdowski received a letter earlier this week from CDPHE which continued the 14-day quarantine period. But, according to Gdowski, “it didn't offer a reason why.”

“Kids aren't wearing masks during wrestling competitions. Kids aren't staying 6 feet apart, or 3 feet, which is more common,” Gdowski said. “The likelihood of a positive COVID transmission is between 4 percent and 0.1 of 1 percent. Masks are more compelling in the early days. But given the absence of positive tests in the 11- to 14-day window, the extension (from the CDPHE) is unnecessary.”

Gdowski said Adams 12 isn't the only district that's dealing with this issue.

“CDPHE reiterated the same stand without giving a reason,” he said. “A number of districts are concerned. They are frustrated. They want their athletes to participate.”

 

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