Unmasked DP School District

After almost exactly two years, children will be able to attend school in person with optional mask wearing starting March 14th. The Governor, in 2020, had originally announced the closure of all public schools on March 13th. 

In an email, Travis Hanson expresses in emotional terms the ending of some mandates, comparing it to the light at the end of a tunnel. Also, he makes it clear that everyone’s personal choice to wear a mask will be respected. 

While the mask mandate has ended there are other requirements that the Washington Department of Health has updated. The following changes are effective as of March 14th. 

  • A student or staff member who tests positive for COVID-19 is required to isolate for five (5) days, regardless of vaccination status, and must have a negative test result to be eligible for return on day six (6).
    •  Individuals who receive a negative result may return immediately. 
    • Any individual testing positive on day six (6) must isolate for the full 10 day isolation period. 
    • Individuals choosing not to test must isolate for the full 10 day isolation period.
  • Any student, child, or staff who reports or exhibits COVID-19-like symptoms is required to be immediately isolated from others, sent home, and referred to diagnostic testing as soon as feasible, regardless of vaccination status. 
  • School health rooms are considered “health care settings” and thus are subject to masking requirements. Therefore, students may be asked to wear a mask while in a school health room.
  • Families will be notified if there is an outbreak in a student’s class/cohort/team. 
  • Access to diagnostic testing will be available within the district for students and staff with symptoms or who were potentially exposed and want to test.
  • To help mitigate future transmission of COVID-19 in the school setting, we need your assistance in monitoring your child for illness and keeping them home when they are sick.

Sources:

https://www.governor.wa.gov/news-media/inslee-announces-statewide-school-closures-expansion-limits-large-gatherings

https://doh.wa.gov/sites/default/files/2022-03/821-165-K12SchoolsChildCare.pdf

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