Starting tomorrow, November 1st the Updated School & Childcare Guidance 2022-23 released last week goes into effect. Here are the main highlights:
WHAT HAS CHANGED
- Vaccinations are no longer required.
- Schools are no longer required to provide access to testing.
- Outbreak definition has changed to 5 cases or 20% of students or staff within a core group.
- The Symptom Flowchart Decision Tree has yet to change as it is still the recommended practice for schools and required for early learning.
- What to do if you test positive and What to do if you were exposed are new documents that outline isolation, masking, and testing practices that should be followed.
WHAT REMAINS THE SAME
- K-12 and early learning are still required to report COVID-19 cases, suspected cases, and outbreaks to local public health (WAC 246-101-420 & WAC 246-101-415, respectively).
- Suspected cases include students/staff who tested positive with an at-home/Over-The-Counter test at home.
- Link to more information on reporting.
- L&I requires reporting outbreaks and providing written notice of potential exposure to employees.
- School Nurse offices still require mask use as directed by the Secretary of Health’s Mask Order, which state’s that anyone providing care to a separated individual should wear appropriate PPE.
- Early learning is required to send an ill child home or reasonably separate them from other children if there is a risk that the child’s illness will spread to other children or individuals (WAC 110-300-0205).
- LHJ Authority – local health officers- may require mitigation measures or more stringent guidelines to control the spread of COVID-19 in K12 and early learning.
- All schools may require any recommended best practices for their school community.