Vol 3, Issue 11
June 7, 2022
Testing to-dos before the end of the year
Here are a few pointers for managing your testing inventory and vendor accounts over the summer:
- Store test kits in a cool, dry place with temperatures between 36° and 86° F. This applies to all rapid antigen tests (AccessBio CareStart / BD Veritor / BinaxNow / iHealth).
- Dispose of used or damaged test kits in the regular trash. Place them in a single, sealed bag before disposing unless local guidance from your LHJ differs.
- BD Veritor Analyzers can be put in the regular trash as well or added to electronics recycling.
- For additional details, see the full breakdown of storage and disposal guidance for each testing vendor.
Wait! Hold on to those expired test kits. DOH has approved the use of all rapid antigen tests after expiration if the built-in quality controls (QC) are intact and correct results are obtained from QC tests. Learn more about using expired test kits.
- Manage online accounts. Some vendor platforms like SimpleReport will deactivate users automatically if they haven’t signed in for a while. The administrator will need to manually reactivate them. You may also need to deactivate users who are no longer involved in testing.
This help sheet provides instructions for each vendor platform on how to:
- Reactivate accounts
- Deactivate or remove users
- Reset passwords
It also provides customer support contacts for each testing vendor. Reach out to your L2R Program Manager if you have additional questions.
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Order take-home tests for families
Send students home this summer with rapid antigen tests
Schools can place bulk orders for rapid antigen tests to send home with students and families before summer break. Having tests on hand helps families protect themselves and others against COVID-19 over the summer.
Don’t wait! Orders take 7-10 business days to be delivered.
Here’s how to order:
- Open the DOH School Test Request Form.
- Fill out all required fields (red asterisks).
- If you don’t see your school/school district listed in the drop-down menu under “ESD/School Selection,” or the information needs to be revised, fill out Required Information for COVID-19 Test Supply Deliveries.
- Under “Testing Supply Menu” scroll to “OTC/At-Home Antigen Tests” and enter the number of tests you want.
- Please limit requests to 5 tests per student
- Leave all other test types blank.
- Under “Additional Comments,” please write “end of year bulk OTC order for summer break.”
Additionally, families can order up to 10 free rapid antigen tests per month throughout the summer through the Say Yes! COVID Test program. The ordering process is quick and easy, and tests typically arrive within in 1-2 weeks.
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K-12 cases and hospitalizations
Rates continue to rise
At a glance (May 8-22, 2022)
- 442 cases per 100,000
- 3.2 hospitalizations per 100,000
- Highest case rates in ages 11 to 13 (487.8 per 100,000)
Cases and hospitalizations among children and youth continue to rise. Here are the key findings from the DOH report on cases among those ages 0-19 from May 8 to May 22, 2022:
- There were a total of 8,334 cases for this period (442 cases per 100,000 population)
- The total number of cases (8,334) increased by nearly 60% compared with the two-week reporting period over April 17 to May 1 (5,249).
- There were 60 hospitalizations (3.2 hospitalizations per 100,000 population). This is up from 41 hospitalizations over the previous reporting period.
- The highest case rates were among 11 to 13-year-olds (487.8 cases per 100,000).
- The highest case rates were in Educational Service District (ESD) 121.
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FAQs of the month
The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) does not anticipate any changes to the current K-12 guidance through the end of the school year. Updates for next year will be released in late-July/early-August.
See all K-12 COVID-19 Guidance and Requirements or review the L2R Guidance Summary for more details. For specifics on home testing and reporting, please see the Interim SARS-CoV-2 Self-Testing Guidance for K12 Schools.
Here are a few of the most common questions from schools about the current guidance:
Is screening testing still required for sports and performing arts?
- No. This is no longer required for participation in close-contact or high-aerosol generating activities like sports or performing arts.
- Schools may consider using or continuing a Test to Stay protocol for these high-risk activities when participants have been exposed to COVID-19.
Is Test to Stay still required?
- No. Test to stay protocols are no longer required for students or staff who have been exposed to COVID-19.
- According to the DOH guidance, “Exposed students and staff may continue to take part in all in-person instruction and activities, including sports, performing arts, and other extracurricular activities, as long as they are not symptomatic.”
- Symptomatic individuals must be isolated immediately, referred to a testing site or provided with a diagnostic test, and sent home.
- Schools may still choose to implement Test to Stay protocols as a mitigation strategy in cooperation with their LHJ.
What are the reporting requirements for take-home tests?
On April 27th, DOH released updated guidance on reporting results for take-home tests.
Here’s what to know:
- If a rapid antigen test is conducted at school or at the designated district testing site, then test results must be reported to DOH via SimpleReport. This is consistent with what schools have already been doing for school-based testing.
- If schools are made aware of a positive result from a take-home test by a parent, caretaker, or student, then this positive test result must be reported to the Local Health Jurisdiction (LHJ) but should not be reported via SimpleReport.
FDA authorizes first COVID booster for children ages 5 to 11
The authorization makes all children in this age group who received their second shot at least five months ago eligible to receive a third shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
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A recap of the final Learning Network Event
A look back and a look ahead
Thank you to everyone who joined the last Learning Network event of the school year! During the event, we looked ahead to better understand:
- What statewide guidance will look like for the next school year?
- What changes to testing supplies are anticipated?
- How will the labor fund work for schools next year?
We also looked back to celebrate the amazing work of school leaders, teachers, testing staff, nurses, and others to keep schools open and safe during the pandemic!
Check out some highlights below.
For the 584 schools enrolled in L2R, you had access to different types of support, including:
- $45.96M funding allocated to school partners via the Labor Fund
- 47% of schools in L2R attended Learning Network Events
- 51% subscribed to the Newsletter
- Access to Translation Services
- Access to 5 WA-specific testing vendor toolkits
- Technical support from Health Commons project managers & ESD Coordinators
Atlas: 63 schools
Curative: 204 schools
Everlywell: 48 schools
BD Labor Partners: 12 schools
CICH: 15 schools
Rapid Tests: 833 schools
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Washington State Department of Health – May 20, 2022. The myth that COVID-19 is always a mild disease in children needs to be dispelled. Since the beginning of the pandemic, more than 4.8 million children ages 5-11 have been diagnosed with COVID-19, with 15,000 hospitalized and, tragically, 180 deceased.
The New York Times – June 2, 2022. [Dr. Ashish Jha, President Biden’s coronavirus response coordinator] said the administration has been working closely with local health departments, pediatrician and family doctors, as well as children’s hospitals, and has asked states to distribute the initial tranche of doses to “their highest priority sites, including those serving the highest risk children and hardest to reach areas.”
The Brookings Institute – May 10, 2022. Using data from 25 states, covering 57% of the nation’s school population, our results suggest that high school graduation rates actually increased slightly in the spring of 2020, followed by a return to the prior level in 2021.
Nature – May 25, 2022. The most effective strategies include ones that help children to understand what they read; giving them meaningful feedback; and approaches that improve meta-cognition — the ability of students to think about, plan and evaluate their own learning. These each give children six or seven months of progress, on average.
Fox13 Seattle – May 30, 2022. [Governor Inslee] said he would not lift the mask mandate if the rate of COVID hospitalizations was above 5 per 100,000 people. As of May 27, the Department of Health lists the rate as 7 per 100,000. The number has been increasing over the last 3 weeks.
Pew Research Center – June 2, 2022. Roughly three-in-ten Hispanic teens (28%) say they are extremely or very worried they may have fallen behind in school because of disruptions caused by the coronavirus outbreak, compared with 19% of Black teens and 11% of White teens.
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