New Washington State Department of Health Guidance for K-12 Schools
The state recently released new guidance for K-12 Schools that aligns with new requirements released in December by the CDC. Below are the main points and the full document is available at DOH. Over the next few days and into next week we will transition to these new timelines and protocols. Our COVID Team and Test to Stay team will be working to make necessary changes in that same time window.
Isolation periods have changed
Students and staff who test positive can return to school after 5 full days since developing symptoms or if tested positive and no symptoms develop. They must:
Be fever-free for 24 hours without use of fever-reducing medications and have an improvement in symptoms.
Wear a well-fitting mask around others through day 10. (Masks are still required at all times in school buildings.)
Produce a negative test result or take a rapid antigen test at school after day 5.
Students may return to school on the 6th day and are allowed to remain in school with a negative test.
If still positive, they must continue to isolate through day 10.
Quarantine requirements have also changed
Students or staff who have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19 should quarantine for at least 5 full days after their last close contact if they:
Are 18 or older and completed the primary series of vaccines but haven’t received a recommended booster shot when eligible.
Received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine (completing the primary series) more than 2 months ago and haven’t received a recommended booster shot.
Aren’t vaccinated or have not completed a primary vaccine series.
They don’t need to quarantine if they:
Are 18 or older and have received all recommended vaccine doses, including boosters and additional primary shots for some immunocompromised people.
Are 5-17 years old and completed the primary series of COVID-19 vaccines.
Had confirmed COVID-19 within the last 90 days.
If students or staff need to quarantine, they have 3 options:
Test to Stay (if the school offers this program). Students and staff should test twice in the 5 days after exposure, wear a well-fitting mask around others through day 10 and monitor for symptoms.
Quarantine at home for 5 days and test no sooner than day 5. You must provide documentation of a negative test to the school. You must wear a well-fitting mask around others through day 10 and monitor for symptoms.
Quarantine at home for 10 days with no test. In certain circumstances, you may need a 14-day quarantine.
As detailed in the video with the change in guidance around who is and isn't eligible for Test-to-Stay, we have new forms available. For those of you that have not already returned a signed Test-to-Stay form for your child, please download the form below and send it school with your child.
The parent consent form will also be utilized for students who test positive for Covid and are returning to school after 5 full days (from the date symptoms began), or after the date of testing if no symptoms develop. Your child must meet the health criteria described in the Test-to-Stay Program as well as have the signed consent form on file to participate and return to school on day 6.
Our current forms on file will suffice if you have already turned one in. Please take a moment to review the changes on the new form regarding student eligibility for Test-to-Stay. The consent to test section is the same.
The Washington State Department of Health does not recommend the use of masks with loosely woven fabric, exhalation valves or vents, or single layer bandanas or gaiters. Please be sure your student is not wearing these. Cloth face coverings should be constructed of two or more tightly woven layers. We have cloth and disposable masks available on request!
Make sure your child's mask has two or more tightly woven layers, fits snugly against the face, and covers both the nose and the mouth.