To: Parents & Guardians
From: Curt Guaglianone
Date: October 27, 2022
Regarding: Updated Guidance to Prevent and Respond to COVID-19 in Mt. Adams School District
This week, the Department of Health (DOH) released updated guidance for K-12 schools to take effect after the Governor’s State of Emergency expires on October 31, 2022.
Once the State of Emergency expires, the only COVID-related safety requirements that will remain in place are the protocols that were already in law prior to the pandemic. This includes:
All cases and suspected cases of COVID-19 in a school will be reported to the local health jurisdiction (WAC 246-101);
All outbreaks or suspected outbreaks of COVID-19 in a school will be reported to the local health jurisdiction (WAC 246-101);
Schools will cooperate with public health authorities in the investigation of cases, suspected cases, outbreaks, and suspected outbreaks that may be associated with the school; and
Schools will notify the Department of Labor & Industries about COVID-19 outbreaks of 10 or more employees at a facility.
Other Guidance provided by the Washington State Department of Health based on DOH 821-165, which will be followed by the Mt. Adams School District Includes:
1. Everyday Operations
a. Maintain awareness of COVID-19 Community levels of infection
b. Encourage everyone to stay up to date on vaccinations
c. Provide COVID-19 testing access (Parent permission required for student testing)
d. Exclude individuals with COVID-19 symptoms from school facilities unless a negative test is provided in order to stay in the building
e. Notify groups of individuals of potential exposure
f. Recommend masks if desired by students, staff, or community
g. Expect and enforce handwashing and respiratory etiquette
h. Clean and disinfect all facilities with best practice procedures
2. Strategies to respond to COVID-19
a. Students, children, or staff who test positive for COVID-19 should stay home for at least 5 days and wear a well-fitting mask around others for a total of 10 days.
b. Individuals should continue to wear a well-fitting and high-quality mask for an additional 5 days (day 6 through day 10) if they return to school after the end of their 5-day isolation period, having met the criteria of being fever-free for 24 hours (without the use of fever-reducing medication) and improved symptoms.
c. If an individual is unable to wear a well-fitting and high-quality mask, they should continue to isolate for a full 10 days or follow the test-based strategy.
d. If individuals have access to antigen tests, they can further decrease their risk of infecting others by taking a test when they plan to leave isolation.
e. Loss of taste or smell may persist for weeks or months after recovery and should not delay the end of isolation.
f. When testing to potentially end isolation,
1- If the test is positive, the individual may still be infectious. They should continue to isolate and wear a well-fitting and high-quality mask and wait 24-48 hours to test.
2 - If the test is negative on two sequential tests each performed 24-48 hours apart, they can end isolation and stop wearing mask before day 10.
3 - If no additional testing is done, the individual should continue to wear a well-fitting and high-quality mask for days 6-10.
g. If individuals continue to test positive on repeat testing through 10 days, continue to wear a mask and avoid people who are immunocompromised or at high risk for severe disease until two sequential negative antigen tests result.
h. Screening tests should be performed for indoor athletics, performing arts, and other higher risk activities if the team or group was exposed to COVID-19 or there is a team or group outbreak.