• Leading Indicators and Matrix for Schools

    The Larimer County Department of Health and Environment (LCDHE) makes the county’s COVID-19 data publicly available on an online dashboard (see image) that is updated at a minimum every 24 hours, but at times more frequently. The dashboard features current data for total cases, deaths, outbreaks, how Larimer County compares to other Colorado counties, as well as the current community risk index, which has been “medium” throughout the summer. Larimer County Department of Health and Environment with the Thompson School District (TSD) has identified four key indicators that schools can monitor to inform their decisions regarding in-person school attendance.

    These indicators – cases per 100,000, test time turn around, percent positivity, and hospitalization use – are measured at the county level and provide an overview of COVID-19 transmission within our community. When assessed together, these indicators can provide a greater understanding of the magnitude and trajectory of transmission within a county and district. Following this matrix uniformly provides important comparative data to help guide TSD to guide data-based decisions with our partners in LCDPE.

    Additional to the leading indicators the TSD and the LCDHE have outlined scenarios for what to do if there is a risk of exposure as identified.  This will help guide decisions to minimize exposure to determine steps needed to facilitate closing a facility or section of a facility and cleaning process.

    If the TSD is notified by LCDHE that an indicator is approaching red coordination and or mitigating factors that may be put in place. If the threshold stays within the green and yellow monitoring will be continued and changes to the educational safety system may not be required.

    This matrix will be updated to align with state and local indicators associated with public health orders and as additional information and data are available.

    Schools/cohorts in quarantine can be viewed here.

  • Image of Larimer County COVID-19 Numbers webpage
  • Larimer County Department of Public Health and Environment Leading Indicators


    (3 pts ea)

    (2 pts ea)

    (1 pt ea)


    Case rates: 14-day average case number per 100,000 population
    Under 50
    Over 100
    A 14-day case number per 100,000 measures the magnitude of COVID-19 infection in a community and is the single best indicator for the likelihood of transmission across the community as well as in settings such as schools.
    Testing turnaround time
    Results in 2 days and less
    Results in 3-4 days
    Results in 5+ days
    Trends are based on a two-week trend receiving test results
    Percent positivity on PCR testing
    Below 5%
    Above 7.5%
    Rising test positivity rates indicate that rising case rates are not simply a result of increased testing, but a measure of true increases in transmission
    Hospital utilization
    Under 70%
    Over 90%
    Hospitalizations as reported by the two largest health providers in Larimer County

    Point Threshold

    • 12-10 points - Continue in-person instruction plan as approved by LCDHE
    • 10 -8 Points - Develop mitigation plans with LCDHE to ensure community infection is not increasing the risk of in-person instruction
    • Under 8 Points - Review possible class or school/District closures

    Use defined State Guidelines (subject to Change)
    A school should be closed when:

    • Five or more classroom/cohort outbreaks (defined above) occur within a 14-day period. Length of closure: 14 days.


    • 5% or more unrelated students/teachers/staff have confirmed COVID-19 within a 14-day period [minimum of 10 unrelated students/staff]. Length of closure: 14 days.


    • Additional time is needed to clean the school before students/teachers/staff return. Length of closure: the time necessary to complete cleaning.


    • Additional time is needed to gather student/teachers/staff illness data and confer with public health. Length of closure: the time necessary to gather student/teachers/staff illness data and confer with public health.
  • Exposure Scenarios (subject to change)
    Responding to COVID-19 cases and outbreaks in schools

    Exposure Scenarios


    One student with confirmed COVID-19 within a school.

    Students stay home until released from isolation (usually 10 days after symptom onset, 24+ hours fever-free, and improving symptoms). Class/cohort stays home for a 14-day quarantine dating from the last day that the child with confirmed COVID-19 attended class. If school is not practicing cohorting or there is some mixing of cohorts, work with public health staff to identify close contacts (including providing class schedules and class rosters). Contacts should stay at home until released from quarantine. ○ Anticipate grade-wide or school-wide dismissal for several days while identification and notification of close contacts is ongoing.

    One student/staff with COVID-like symptoms within a school.

    The student, teachers, or staff should stay home according to the symptom checklist for parents and staff. Can I go to school today? The student, teacher, or staff should only return to school after following the Return to school/work tool to determine how long a person needs to stay home after staying home or going home sick. Return to School/Work Guidance flowchart. The student, teacher, or staff should be sent home if they begin feeling sick while at school. Review exposure risk and communicate any closure or quarantine as directed by LCDPE.

    One teacher/ staff member with confirmed COVID-19.

    Teacher/staff stays home until released from quarantine (usually 10 days after symptom onset, 24+ hours fever-free, and improving symptoms). Class/cohort stays home for a 14-day quarantine, LCDPE to determine if classmates or cohort members or close contacts of a sick person need to stay home. Public health will recommend testing close contacts.