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New COVID-19 Recommendations

Hello families,

We want to begin by thanking our teachers, specialists, bus drivers, nurses, paras, admins, substitutes, and everyone else who has helped ensure that our schools stay open amid the current staffing challenges. Ensuring our bus routes run, that our classrooms have teachers and that there is sufficient support in place has not been an easy task since resuming school last week. Early obstacles of weather conditions evolved into the challenge of a substantial number of staff who have been out daily due to COVID-19 infections or close contacts needing to isolate or quarantine. We are grateful to our families, for your patience as we worked to overcome these difficulties, and for helping us maintain COVID-19 mitigation strategies to help keep our students and staff as safe and healthy as we can.

Our goal is to keep schools open. If our district needs to close a classroom or building due to requirements from health officials or due to staffing challenges, we will contact you via our usual methods.

As we shared briefly on Friday, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommended applying updated isolation and quarantine recommendations to K-12 settings. Public Health – Seattle & King County adopted these recommendations on Thursday, Jan. 6, 2022, and our district began implementing them today, Jan. 10.

We have begun contacting families of students who were already in quarantine or isolation and are continuing that process. Students’ new quarantine or isolation periods will be determined and implemented based on the guidelines below, which will be followed in determining quarantine or isolation moving forward:

Quarantine

Do not come to school if you are ill.

Students who come into close contact with someone with COVID-19 need to quarantine for at least 5 days after their last close contact if they are in any one of the following groups:

  • Age 18 or older and completed the primary series of recommended vaccine but have not received a recommended booster shot when eligible.
  • Received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine more than two months ago and have not received a recommended booster shot.
  • Not vaccinated or have not completed a primary vaccine series (two doses of Moderna or Pfizer, or one dose of Johnson & Johnson).

Students who come into close contact with someone with COVID-19 do not need to quarantine if they are in any one of the following groups and are asymptomatic:

  • Age 18 or older and have received all recommended vaccine doses, including boosters and additional primary shots for some immunocompromised people.
  • Age 5-17 years old and have completed the primary series of COVID-19 vaccines.
  • Had confirmed COVID-19 within the last 90 days and provided a positive PCR test result.

Isolation

All students with COVID-19 (with or without symptoms) need to isolate for at least 5 days. This requirement applies to anyone with COVID-19, regardless of their vaccination status.

For students who test positive for COVID-19 and never develop symptoms:

  • Isolate for at least 5 days. “Day 0” is the day of the positive COVID-19 test, and day 1 is the first full day after the specimen was collected for the positive test.
  • If a student continues to have no symptoms, they can end isolation after day 5.
  • If a student develops symptoms after testing positive, the 5-day isolation period will start over. In that case, “day 0” is the first day of symptoms.

For students who have COVID-19 and have or had symptoms:

  • Students can end isolation after 5 days if they are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication and if other symptoms have improved. In this case, day 0 is the day symptoms begin.
  • If the student meets these criteria, they can return to school after day 5 of isolation. This applies to anyone with COVID-19, regardless of their vaccination status.
  • If the student continues to have a fever or if other symptoms have not improved after day 5 of isolation, they should wait to end isolation until they are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication and other symptoms have improved.

For additional information on the updated Quarantine and Isolation guidance, please visit the CDC FAQ. To review the district’s COVID-19 dashboard, visit our website.

For any questions contact the Communications Department or your school’s COVID Supervisor or Principal.