Washington State Department of Health (DOH)

Quick, easy to digest summaries of updated DOH COVID-19 guidance.

The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) regularly updates COVID-19 guidance to meet the needs of school communities in this fast-paced, ever-changing environment. Learn to Return provides high-level guidance briefs for L2R districts that are quick and easy to digest. 

Guidance for the 2022-2023 school year

DOH has released updated K-12 guidance for the 2022-2023 school year! These requirements and recommendations help reduce the spread of COVID-19, limit outbreaks, and minimize interruptions to school life.

Key takeaways from doh's august 2022 guidance

  • Students or staff who test positive for COVID-19 must stay home and isolate for 5 days. Repeating initial tests does not change this requirement. See What to do if a person is symptomatic for more information. See page 2.
  • Students or staff returning from 5 days of isolation should wear a well-fitted mask from days 6 to 10. Students and staff are also encouraged to test before returning to school. See page 6.
  • If students or staff continue to test positive for COVID-19 after day 5, they must isolate for the full 10 days. See page 6.
  • Schools are no longer required to notify high risk students and staff of exposure but must continue to have a process in place to inform students, staff, and families when there are cases or outbreaks in school. See page 3.
  • The “test to stay” program is no longer a part of the recommendation section; however, testing protocols remain an important tool to ensure safe in-person learning. See page 10. 
  • Schools are required to respond to outbreaks. All suspected outbreaks (3 or more cases within a specified core group) must be reported to your local health jurisdiction. See page 4. 

Check out the DOH guidance brief for schools for more details. 

Translations available soon

The K-12 Guidance will be translated into additional languages to increase accessibility. Materials for schools and childcare staff will be translated into Spanish, Somali, and Russian. Materials for families with children in both K-12 and childcare settings will be translated into 36 languages. These translated materials are expected in late August.  

Previous guidance

Please note that this content is available for your reference but is no longer up-to-date. Please refer to the most recent guidance for current implementation and planning.

March 11, 2022

Some requirements have been dropped or modified while others have become recommendations.

January 31, 2022

Important changes to sports screening updates.

December 17, 2021

Sports guidance.

November 8, 2021

Safety for the performing arts, defining a close contact, 7-day quarantine rules.

October 26, 2021

Testing Staff PPE Guidance.

October 4, 2021

New “outbreak” definition and other changes.

September 14, 2021


August 18, 2021

Masks and Testing.