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Public Health investigating 21 cases among dance students and close contacts
Contact: Nicole Valentine, Summit County Director of Communications
SUMMIT COUNTY – The Summit County Public Health Department, in coordination with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), is investigating an outbreak of COVID-19 at Alpine Dance Academy in Frisco. The academy has 16 confirmed cases among employees and dance students, and an additional 5 cases among dance student family members.
The individuals were tested for COVID-19 after developing symptoms. The Alpine Dance Academy cases involved multiple quarantined cohorts, totaling 142 students, between Summit Middle School and Summit High School. To date, 43 Alpine Dance Academy students and 29 close contacts have been quarantined.
“This is a clear example of how quickly the virus can spread in our community if basic mitigation measures are not followed,” said Public Health Director Amy Wineland. “In this case, Alpine Dance Academy had implemented layered safety measures to protect their students, however if students knowingly and repeatedly go to practice while sick, then they pose a risk to the health of their peers, family, and instructors.”
Alpine Dance Academy had implemented strict rules for all dance students regarding mask wearing, maintaining 6 feet of physical distance and symptom checking. In addition, the studio had intensive cleaning and disinfecting protocols in place. It was reported that some dance students, however, were not compliant with the COVID-19 policies and did not report symptoms or stay home while symptomatic, leading to the outbreak.
“We are extremely disappointed in our students for coming to dance while symptomatic and not being candid with Public Health officials about doing so. This delayed a quarantine that could have protected a number of our dancers, staff, and their family members,” said Kelly Monahon, owner of Alpine Dance Academy. “If people are not relaying accurate information to Public Health or to Alpine Dance Academy, then we cannot protect our students and our staff.”
Public health officials are urging individuals who believe they may have been exposed to get tested. Testing is available to the public at no cost at multiple testing locations across Summit County and a doctor’s note is not necessary. Individuals can go to https://www.summitcountyco.gov/Testing for additional information on locations and hours.
It’s critical that symptomatic individuals, no matter how mild their symptoms may be, immediately seek testing and go into isolation to reduce the risk of transmission.
The outbreak investigation at Alpine Dance Studio is ongoing. All known positive cases have been placed in isolation, and all close contacts identified thus far have been placed under quarantine.
Information on Summit County positive cases can be found on the COVID-19 Data Dashboard.