WA Department of Health updates COVID guidelines
Recently the Washington State Department of Health updated its COVID safety guidelines for schools. Walla Walla Public Schools has implemented these new guidelines and is working diligently to ensure schools remain open and are safe despite the recent community spread. Please contact your child’s school health staff with additional questions.
Visit the Walla Walla Public Schools website and click on the Safely Back to School banner at the top of the page for all of the district’s COVID safety information and materials.
New State Guidelines:
Test To Stay
• Definition: A protocol in which a student or staff member completes post-exposure testing at regular intervals in order to complete a modified quarantine, subject to local health jurisdiction Test to Stay Protocol approval.
• What changed: It is now inclusive of all staff and students, regardless of where exposure occurred. Household exposures are assessed on an individual basis.
• Definition: When someone who has COVID-19 symptoms, or has tested positive, stays home and away from others (including household members) to avoid spreading their illness.
• What changed: Isolation reduced to 5 days at home since symptom onset or positive test. Symptoms must be absent or resolving, no fever in the past 24 hours (no medication). Have a negative rapid test on or after day 5. Monitor and wear well-fitting mask for next 5 days (days 6–10).
• Definition: When someone who has been exposed to COVID-19 stays home and away from others for the recommended period of time in case they were infected and are contagious. Quarantine becomes isolation if the person later tests positive for COVID-19 or develops symptoms.
• What changed: No quarantine needed if they are asymptomatic and:
- Ages 18+ up to date with vaccines (primary series and boosters);
- Ages 5–17 completed primary series of vaccines; or
- Had confirmed COVID-19 in the last 90 days and recovered.
• Definition: The process of identifying people who have been exposed to COVID-19 and notifying these close contacts about their exposure, while protecting confidentiality, in order to provide public health guidance.
• What changed: Contact tracing in classrooms, where consistent masking is enforced, is no longer necessary.