Updated COVID-19 Guidance per Dept. of Health

How the Dept. of Health's COVID-19 Guidance for K-12 Schools Impacts Tahoma
Posted on 07/30/2021

Following updated guidance from the Washington State Dept. of Health (DOH) to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in K-12 schools, we would like to share some highlights within the guidance and explain how this will impact the start of the 2021-22 school year at Tahoma. Although this virus continues to affect our school and community, we’re thrilled that this guidance will still allow us to safely bring students and staff back for full time, in-person learning this fall.

Guidance is subject to change, and DOH is expected to release further guidance in August for extracurricular activities.

Masks/Facial Coverings

Outdoors

  • Masks are not required outdoors, regardless of vaccination status
  • Masks are strongly recommended for unvaccinated individuals when outdoors in crowded spaces (unable to maintain six feet of distance from others) or when in close contact with people from outside their household for a sustained period of time

Indoors

  • Masks are required indoors, regardless of vaccination status
    • Exceptions: Fully vaccinated staff do not need to wear masks inside a building where students are not present

DOH explained that mask/facial covering requirements are not a choice being left to our School Board or administrators. Per the Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI): Boards or districts that intentionally disobey, dismiss, or shun an explicit law, including a Governor’s executive order, which has the power of law, will see an immediate halt to their basic education apportionment, and their federal funds that come through OSPI.”

Contact Tracing/Quarantine

If an individual on campus tests positive for COVID-19, they will be asked to quarantine for at least 10 days following the onset of symptoms or their positive test collection if asymptomatic. They will be able to return after 10 days if symptoms have improved and any fever has been resolved for at least 24 hours.

Students and staff who have been vaccinated and verified through the district, and are not showing symptoms, will not be required to quarantine if exposed to an individual who tests positive for COVID-19. The same applies for close contacts who had confirmed COVID-19 in the past three months, have recovered and do not have symptoms.

Staying Home When Sick

Regardless of whether a student or staff member is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or has tested positive for COVID-19, we highly encourage anyone who is sick to stay home. Even if you are experiencing symptoms unrelated to COVID-19, we ask that you stay home until you are feeling better.

COVID-19 Testing

There will continue to be COVID-19 testing available for students, staff and family members who may have been exposed to COVID-19. We are still determining where that testing site will be this school year.

Testing is currently available at Glacier Park Elementary School on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9-11 a.m. by appointment. Register for a test here.

We have been busy preparing for a return to school and are very excited to see students and staff back in the buildings full time. Despite the challenges, we’re confident that 2021-22 is going to be an outstanding school year at Tahoma.
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