Washington State announces COVID-19 guidelines for K-12 schools

Washington State announces COVID-19 guidelines for K-12 schools.
Washington State announces COVID-19 guidelines for K-12 schools.(Unsplash)
Published: Aug. 10, 2022 at 1:50 PM PDT
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OLYMPIA, Wash. (KPTV) - The Washington State Department of Health announced updated COVID-19 guidelines for K-12 schools and child care on Wednesday.

The guidelines apply to the upcoming 2022-2023 school year.

Umair A. Shah, Washington Secretary of Health, said in-person learning is important for children and their long-term education.

“We are entering a new stage of coexisting with COVID-19 in our communities, knowing that COVID-19 is here to stay for the foreseeable future,” Shah said.

Requirements and recommendations for the 2022-23 school year include:

  • Students, children, and staff who test positive for COVID-19 are required to stay home and isolate for five days. Repeating COVID-19 testing will not affect this requirement.
  • Students, children, and staff returning from five days of isolation should wear a well-fitted mask from days six to 10. They are also encouraged to test before returning.
  • Schools and child care providers are not required to directly notify high risk individuals of exposure but must continue to have a way to inform students, staff, and families of cases and outbreaks.
  • Schools and child care providers will still be required to report outbreaks (three or more cases within a specified core group) to local health jurisdictions and to have a response plan.

Schools and child care centers should also pay attention to their local context and potential outbreaks, and may establish further rules as needed to keep students, children, and staff safe and healthy.

According to the DOH, COVID-19 vaccinations are still the best protection for everyone against hospitalization and severe disease. The vaccines are now available for babies aged 6 months and older, with booster shots available for children aged 5 years and older.