Updated 4:10 p.m.
Education and political leaders in Colorado released a plan Tuesday to reopen schools in person at the start of the year. The crux, of course, is that a lot depends on how well communities prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Gov. Jared Polis told reporters the plan under development uses data and science, along with a variety of public health measures to keep schools safe for students and staff.
"It includes prioritizing testing for schools, expanding contact tracing, capacity for schools, continued mask-wearing, regular symptom screening, [and] effective cohorting," he said.
The governor has been inistent that the best place for students nd their futures is in the classroom.
The state's roadmap aims to provide testing, especially in the communities with the highest prevalence of the virus. It also proposes regular testing for educators and staff interested, for those with symptoms individuals who need a diagnostic test, and for those who do not have symptoms but have been quarantined after an exposure.
The first coronavirus vaccine doses arrived in Colorado on Monday, and are being distributed to frontline health care workers this week. A second vaccine could arrive in Colorado as soon as next week if it receives authorization from the Food and Drug Administration. The pandemic also has made the already challenging mental health picture for Colorado's farmers and ranchers even more difficult.