The Poudre School District opened the 2020-2021 school year completely remote, but left the door open for a hybrid or full in-person return later in the year.

While PSD isn't ready to commit to how classes will operate after Oct. 16, it did reveal how it is tracking the COVID-19 pandemic to make its decision. There are many factors that are being monitored.

The Fort Collins-based district has about 3,800 employees and 30,000 students. Here's what it is tracking:

  • 14-day average: PSD is tracking Larimer County's 14-day case rate per 100,000. This rate has fallen since the summer, but as of Wednesday (Sept. 9) Larimer County reported a medium risk 14-day case rate of 66 cases per 100,000  — Larimer County Public Health Director Tom Gonzales has said he wants to see the county’s average closer to 50 cases per 100,000.
  • 14-day test positivity percentage: The State of Colorado wants each county to be at 5 percent or lower. As of Wednesday (Sept. 9), Larimer County was less than half of that at 2.4 percent.
  • Hospital rates: PSD is closely monitoring how full the local hospitals are. The concern is making sure there's enough capacity for everyone to be treated. As of Wednesday (Sept. 9), Larimer County had a 59 percent hospital utilization rate and reported nine total COVID-19 patients currently in hospitals. PSD is also closely monitoring Weld County hospitalization rates in case of overflow need.  
  • Testing runaround: When the school year began, PSD raised concerns about the turnaround times for COVID-19 testing in Colorado. Larimer County has since increased capabilities to test 1,500 people a day and receive results within two days or less.

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