Vol 4, Issue 4



September 12, 2022

Happy Monday! Today we are talking about the DOH ordering and delivery process for testing supplies, the updated COVID-19 boosters, and the pause of the federal at-home test delivery program.

Also in this newsletter:

DOH Order and Delivery Process

Omicron Booster

At-Home Tests

K-12 Cases and Hospitalizations

Covid-19 News

Activity Book for Kids

First time seeing this newsletter? You can subscribe here.

Updates to DOH Order and Delivery Process

Neon delivery truck against a brick wall.

DOH has transitioned to a new, third-party logistics company called Delivery Express to improve efficiency, provide dedicated service to schools, and enable more transparency around delivery timelines. 

Here’s what to know:

  • Delivery Express is a Washington-based company with a proven track record in supporting the COVID-19 response in Washington state through transporting specimens from local health jurisdictions (LHJs) and schools to ensure timely test results from labs.

  • There are no changes to the DOH ordering portal where school districts/schools place testing supply orders.

  • Beginning October 1, 2022, we encourage school districts/schools to start ordering a 30-day supply once per month. You can expect to receive supplies within 10 business days after receiving an email from DOH that your order has been approved.

  • You will now receive email notifications with shipping status and estimated delivery times from Delivery Express once your order has been placed/approved.


  • Place orders now if you need more supplies for September. You should receive your supplies within 10 business days. 

If you have any questions about placing your order, please reach out to your L2R Program Manager or your ESD Coordinator.  

    ^ Back to Top

    Omicron booster shots are here!

    Neon omicron booster shots with illustrations of virus in background.

    Following FDA authorization and recommendations from the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, updated COVID-19 vaccine boosters are now recommended in Washington state. 

    Here’s what to know:

    • The updated boosters from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna offer protection against the more transmissible and immune-evading omicron subvariants, BA.4. and BA.5. 
    • These two subvariants make up over 90% of all cases in the US, according to CDC estimates
    • The boosters are known as bivalent vaccines because they protect against the newer variants and the original COVID-19 strain.
    • The Pfizer boosters are authorized for people 12 and older who had their last dose of any COVID-19 vaccine at least 2 months prior. 
    • The Moderna boosters are authorized for people 18 and older who had their last dose of any COVID-19 vaccine at least 2 months prior.
    • The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) recommends that all who are eligible for these boosters get one as soon as possible. 
    • Learn more about vaccine booster doses and eligibility for all authorized boosters.
    • Use the DOH Vaccine Locator or call the COVID-19 Information Hotline at 1-800-525-0127 to find boosters near you.

      “We’re excited this updated bivalent booster will help increase protection against the omicron variants as we head into the fall season. As SARS-CoV-2 changes, so must the tools we use against it – this update helps ensure that vaccines and boosters will continue to be the most effective ways to reduce the risk of hospitalization and death, and keep those most at-risk healthy and safe.”

      Tao Sheng Kwan-Gett, MD, MPH

      Chief Science Officer, Washington State Department of Health

      ^ Back to Top

      Don’t worry!

      Washingtonians can still get at-home tests for free!

      The federal program might have been paused, but Say Yes! To COVID Test is still going strong. This state-wide program provides households in Washington state with 10 tests per month, free of charge. The ordering process is very simple, and the tests take 3 to 5 days to arrive. 

      Does the end of the federal program impact Learn to Return?

      No. DOH will continue to supply at-home rapid antigen tests to Learn to Return schools through the same ordering portal. Schools can distribute these tests to families to help them maintain access to at-home testing. 

      What are some ways that schools can help distribute at-home tests to families? 

      Schools can serve as an easy-to-access distribution hub for at-home tests. They can be sent home with symptomatic students and staff so they have access to tests while isolating or handed out before school breaks so families have a diagnostic solution at home before returning to school. 

      While school is in session, you may want to have at-home tests available at certain locations and events so students and families can pick these up as needed.

      Here are a few ideas: 

      • Set up a booth or table at sports and performing arts events with stacks of at-home tests.
      • Keep a rotating supply of tests at the front desk where caretakers might see them.
      • Hand out tests at parent orientation and/or parent-teacher conferences.
      • Keep a stack of tests available at the school library for students and staff to grab as needed.

      Contact your L2R Program Manager for questions about the Say Yes! COVID Test program, ordering at-home tests through Learn to Return, or distribution ideas.

      Related: Department of Health Announces Updated At-home COVID-19 Testing Guidance

      Washingtonians are now being asked to report all positive at-home test results through the Say Yes! COVID Test Digital Assistant, even if those testing kits were not obtained through the Say Yes! COVID Test (SYCT) program. 

      Review all of the recent COVID-19 Self-Testing Guidance updates on the DOH website.

      ^ Back to Top

      K-12 cases and hospitalizations

      Cases continue to decline across all ages in Washington, but due to an increase in home-based testing, it is likely that many positive cases are not being reported. Hospitalizations for ages 0-19 have ticked up over the last two week reporting cycle, but the hospitalization rate across all age groups in Washington continues to fall.

      Here are the key findings from the DOH report on cases among those ages 0-19 from August 13 to August 27, 2022:

      • There were a total of 2,592 cases for this reporting period (137.5 cases per 100,000 population).   

      • The total number of cases (2,592) decreased by nearly 70% since late May 2022 (8,334). 
      • There were 50 hospitalizations during the reporting period (2.7 hospitalizations per 100,000 population). 

      • The highest case rates were among 0 to 3-year-olds (240.6 cases per 100,000 population).

      • The highest case rates were in Educational Service District (ESD) 171.

      A Spanish language edition of this weekly report is available. Lea el informe aquí

      ^ Back to Top

      COVID-19 NEWS

      Return to school is driving up Covid-19 cases in kids, but there are more tools to keep them safe this year

      CNN – 8 September 2022. New cases reported among children in the last week of August were 14% higher than they were two weeks earlier, according to data tracked by the American Academy of Pediatrics. They jumped even more in the South, where classes have been in session for weeks. In contrast, overall cases for all ages were down about 17% in the same timeframe.

      The pandemic erased two decades of progress in math and reading

      The New York Times – 1 September 2022. This year, for the first time since the National Assessment of Educational Progress tests began tracking student achievement in the 1970s, 9-year-olds lost ground in math, and scores in reading fell by the largest margin in more than 30 years.

      Annual Covid booster? Vaccination may soon resemble flu shot approach, White House says

      Forbes – 6 September 2022. The U.S. is “moving towards a path” of vaccinating against Covid at a “cadence similar to that of the annual influenza vaccine,” with retooled shots each year engineered to protect against the most prevalent coronavirus strain at that time, Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser, said during a press conference Tuesday.

      When, why, and how to get a new Covid-19 booster shot

      Vox – 8 September 2022. The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices did not recommend updated boosters for kids younger than 12 because manufacturers haven’t yet submitted data on these age groups for the FDA’s review. That will likely happen later this fall. Meanwhile, younger kids (between 6 months and 12 years) can get the original formulation of the vaccines.

      ^ Back to Top

      COVID-19 Activity Book for Kids! 

      The COVID-19 Activity Book for Kids is here! The Activity book includes coloring pages, mazes, word searches and more! It was designed to entertain and distract kids waiting in line for their COVID-19 vaccine – but it can also be useful inside the classroom and at home! 

      Download and print the shorter version or the extended version – or both! 

      Both are available in the L2R Toolbox!

      ^ Back to Top