It appears the Clear Creek School District’s COVID-19 protocols are working because all the 50-some tests linked to a case at Clear Creek Middle School/High School came back negative, county officials said Tuesday.

On Sept. 18, Clear Creek County was notified that a CCHS student had tested positive for COVID-19. Several middle school and high school students were quarantined, and tests were scheduled for the positive case’s contacts on Sept. 22.

“We had a case walk into school, spend all day in the school, which speaks volumes to the staff and faculty there and what they’re doing,” Tim Ryan, the county’s Public & Environmental Health director, said.

Remote learning continues through the rest of this week at least because of the delayed results, he said.

The increase in COVID-19 cases statewide has once again caused a backup at both private and state labs, Ryan described, adding how even when the county labels a test as a priority, it still takes five days to get results.

Since Sept. 22, the county has added three new cases, which Ryan said have all been linked to travel — either Clear Creek residents traveling elsewhere or hosting people visiting from other states.

All three cases’ contacts have been placed in quarantine, he said, again emphasizing the importance of following quarantine orders and not leaving home.

Ryan recommended people limit their travel. However, if they must, he said they should stay in a hotel and socialize with loved ones outside, and try to limit their interactions in close quarters indoors.

He also stressed that people should avoiding larger family gatherings, such as weddings, funerals and reunions.

“When you get a larger number of people together, that is where (more cases) are coming from,” he continued. “It’s less from the one-on-on situations.”

Ryan said he recently received an email from a parent who suggested COVID-19 wasn’t any more serious than a seasonal flu, to which Ryan responded that COVID-19’s fatality rate is 10 times higher than the flu’s. Even those who recover will have long-term health effects from contracting it, such as scarring of the lungs, inflammation of the heart, chronic fatigue and more.

“We’re learning more everyday about the long-term impacts of COVID,” he said. “… You have to have those things in the back of your mind when you’re making decisions.”