COVID Safety Protocols
On August 5, 2022 the Washington State Department of Health released updated COVID-19 guidelines for K-12 schools, and childcare and on August 11, 2022 the federal Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released revised recommendations.
These policy changes reflect a significant shift towards long-term COVID-19 management and away from an emergency response. Northshore School District has adjusted our COVID-19 protocols accordingly while continuing to prioritize the health of our students, staff, and communities and safely preserve in-person learning.
Important 2022-23 & Protocol Changes
Northshore School District will no longer provide universal batch testing
In alignment with the revised CDC recommendations, screen testing or batch testing is no longer a recommendation for individuals without COVID-19 symptoms. When community levels are high, the District, in consultation with our Public Health agencies, may use screen testing in certain high-risk activities such as band, choir, theater, and close contact indoor sports to mitigate outbreaks and preserve in-person learning.
Northshore’s 2022-23 testing strategy will focus on suspected or confirmed outbreaks
For the 2022-23 school year, schools will be provided with rapid antigen home test kits. In classrooms or cohorts with a suspected outbreak, students may be encouraged to test after consultation with Public Health.
Physical distancing is no longer required
While general notification of student exposure is still required, communication will be provided to families weekly.
The communication will point to the District’s data dashboard.
Protocols That Remain The Same
- No students or staff will be required to quarantine after an exposure. This applies to vaccinated and unvaccinated students and staff, volunteers, or contractors with an exemption.
- Students, children, and staff who have symptoms of COVID-19 are required to stay home and should get tested and/or see a health care provider. Students and staff should follow the DOH What to do if a Person is Symptomatic Flowchart.
- A student or staff member who tests positive for COVID-19 is required to isolate regardless of vaccination status. The individual may return after 5 full days of isolation if they are asymptomatic or their symptoms have improved and they have had no fever for the past 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications. Additionally, individuals must wear a mask when around others days 6–10. Continue to use the DOH Flowchart for guidance.
- All District employees, volunteers, and indoor contractors are still required to be fully vaccinated or have a medical or religious exemption per the Governor’s proclamation.
- Masking continues to be optional except for in designated health rooms, if required by Public Health, or if a student or staff member is symptomatic at school. In classrooms or cohorts with a suspected outbreak, students may be encouraged to mask after consultation with Public Health. Masks will be provided for staff and students who want them.
COVID-19 Site Supervisor at each school to provide COVID-19 response oversight and coordination.
Isolation room. Any student or staff member who reports or has COVID-19-like symptoms is required to be isolated from others. The designated isolation room must be separate from the space used for general first aid or medical support or from shared spaces with other students.
For the 2022-23 school year, the Northshore School District will continue these additional mitigation strategies:
- We will continue to closely monitor and share COVID-19 transmission trends via our COVID-19 data dashboard
- Sustain increased air ventilation (HVAC), sustain improvements to filtration and monthly replacement of filters, and daily replacement of indoor air (two hours before occupancy and two hours post occupancy).
- Support frequent handwashing in school
- Communicate that all individuals experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should stay home and test
- Provide a remote option for students who are required to isolate. Isolation Learning Support will begin on September 12, 2022 and is accessible by elementary school students. Daily lessons will focus on reading, math and writing. Schedules and Zoom links will be posted by September 9, and will be accessible on every school webpage.Lunch will no longer be available to students who are isolating due to changes by the USDA and federal lunch program.