The WA health agencies emphasize staying home if sick to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses.

What can parents do?

Parents can monitor respiratory symptoms and keep children home when they have runny noses, coughing, sore throats, nausea, fever, and vomiting. They suggest getting children the flu and COVID-19 booster shots before the holidays.

What can schools do?

Call parents about children with symptoms of respiratory viruses. Ease children’s minds about staying home if they are sick.

  • Remind parents and students about the sick day policy.
  • Clarify to students the school resources and expectations for missing school (Email teachers for missed coursework, access online learning resources, or get updates on missed classroom activities.)
  • Encourage students to participate in prevention strategies. (Handwashing, elbow sneeze and cough, and avoid touching eyes, mouth, and nose. Also, schools should have hand sanitizer in classrooms and wipe desks and doorknobs between classes.)
  • Encourage students to rest and take care of themselves when they are sick to reduce the stigma around illness.
  • Encourage parents and staff to get flu and COVID-19 booster shots before the holidays!

Prepare for increased transmission this holiday season

  • Thanksgiving break is coming up, which means traveling, gathering, and germ-sharing. Plan to send home test kits with families before the break to combat the spread.
  • Order your at-home tests through the DOH portal soon. (It takes up to 10 business days from getting DOH approval on your order to receive supplies.) DOH has switched to the Intelliswab Kit due to ease of use and low failure rate, though results take 30 minutes.
  • Please remember to reach out to families so they can take advantage of any testing opportunities that your school is providing.