2 August 2021

The latest updates on COVID-19, testing, and vaccines curated for L2R school districts.

School-Based Vaccination Events

Why host a vaccination event?

 Reduce transmission of COVID-19 in schools and the community

Minimize lost learning days

Offer vaccinations to students and families from a trusted community institution

Help level the playing field for vaccine access

Drive vaccine uptake in the wider community

“To boost the vaccination rates in your school community, I ask you to first, if you have not already, stand up a vaccination clinic at your school sites.”

– United States Secretary of Education, Miguel A. Cardona, Ed.D.

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Guidance Synthesis

Masks, testing, and the rest

The surge in infections caused by the Delta variant has prompted public health authorities and expert medical associations to recommend universal indoor masking for schools regardless of the vaccination status of students, staff, and visitors. On July 28, Governor Inslee made indoor masking for all students and staff a requirement in Washington State for the upcoming school year.

We have to prevent the spread of COVID, obviously for the health of our children, but we also want to keep our schools open. We don’t want to see waves of this virus going through the schools and force the closure of schools. Our kids need to be in the classroom this fall.

Governor Jay Inslee

on masking requirements for K-12 schools, July 28, 2021

When it comes to safety measures this fall, here’s the bottom-line:

Full-time, in-person learning is a top priority for our communities

The full gamut of safety measures – including masking and testing – is essential to maintaining full-time, in-person learning

There is clear consensus around the recent guidance:

Areas with moderate to high levels of community transmission (all but one Washington county as of July 29, 2021) should maintain a layered approach to mitigate transmission in schools and sustain full-time, in-person learning. Universal indoor masking (now a requirement in Washington State), testing, distancing (to the degree possible with full attendance), and other safety measures are strongly recommended by federal authorities and leading medical associations.

We are not out of the woods yet.

Masks and school-based testing remain core components of a safe return to full-time, in-person learning until vaccinations, for all ages, reach critical levels.

The table below highlights the guidance around masks and testing provided by the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and the Washington State Department of Health (DOH).

K-12 Guidance


CDC recommends universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to schools, regardless of vaccination status.


Screening testing should be offered to students who have not been fully vaccinated when community transmission is at moderate, substantial, or high levels; at any level of community transmission, screening testing should be offered to all teachers and staff who have not been fully vaccinated.


All students older than 2 years and all school staff should wear face masks at school (unless medical or developmental conditions prohibit use).


Schools must continue to take a multi-pronged, layered approach to protect students, teachers, and staff (ie, vaccination, universal mask use, ventilation, testing, quarantining, and cleaning and disinfecting). Combining these layers of protection will make in-person learning safe and possible.


All staff and students must continue to wear face coverings/masks, regardless of vaccination status.


Screening testing should be offered to students who have not been fully vaccinated when community transmission is at moderate, substantial, or high levels.

Schools must ensure access to timely diagnostic testing among students with symptoms or who are close contacts of someone with COVID-19. This can be done at the school, at a centralized site for the district, and/or in partnership with a trusted and accessible community-based testing provider and local public health.

L2R will work to keep you abreast of updates to policies and guidance as the school year approaches. Reach out to your L2R Program Manager to discuss strategies for screening and/or symptomatic testing for the next school year as well as opportunities to deliver school-based vaccinations for your community.

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The Delta Variant

Learn about the latest research on the Delta variant with our curated list of podcasts, videos, and articles:


Breakthrough Infections, Explained

The Daily Podcast by the New York Times

July 26, 2021 – 24:46 min

Public Health Expert Dr. Leana Wen on COVID & Mandates

Fresh Air from NPR

July 27, 2021 – 46:00 min


Episode #45 – Delta Variant

Science in 5 by the World Health Organization

July 5, 2021 – 04:24 min


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Out With The Old, In With The New!

New test kits are coming your way! A recent partnership between Curative and Abbott Labs requires some updates to your inventory. All districts using Curative will need to transition to the Abbott testing kits as soon as possible. The lab, software, and supply chain will remain the same – it’s only the kits that are being replaced.

Your next steps:

Package & return

Package & return your existing Curative test kits (any samples collected with these kits are not being processed as of July 13).

Use your UPS portal to print a shipping label to:

Curative, 519 W Terrace Dr., San Dimas, CA 91773


Transition to a shallow nasal swab when using the new testing kit.



Integrate updated consent forms into your testing program.


Ensure new samples are shipped on time!

Samples collected with the Abbott kits must be shipped to the lab within 48 hours.


That’s it! Your new kits should be arriving in about one week. Please contact your L2R Program Manager if you have not received your new testing kits by Friday, August 6th.

We appreciate your flexibility in this transition and your commitment to the health of your school community. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to your L2R Program Manager.

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New Web-Based Reporting Tool for BinaxNOW

Starting this school year, Learn to Return districts using BinaxNOW rapid antigen tests will be required to report COVID-19 results using a new web-based reporting tool created by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

This secure electronic system will streamline your reporting process, minimize transcription errors, and standardize data reporting and validation for the Washington State Department of Health.

If you are currently using BinaxNOW, an L2R Program Manager will reach out to help you and your team onboard the new system.

More information coming soon!

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Cliff’s Notes for COVID-19 news


As Infections Rise, C.D.C. Urges Some Vaccinated Americans to Wear Masks Again

New York Times, updated 28 July 2021

D.C. officials also recommended universal masking for teachers, staff, students, and visitors in schools, regardless of vaccination status and community transmission of the virus. With additional precautions, schools nonetheless should return to in-person learning in the fall, according to agency officials.

Debate emerges around Covid-19 testing strategies in schools as districts plan to reopen

CNN, 26 July 2021

“…testing is emerging once again as a really key priority area, especially with the rise in variants coupled with variable vaccination rates… so, the testing has to come back to the forefront, or we’re not going to be able to even understand where and how to target the mitigation efforts community by community.” Lori Tremmel Freeman, chief executive officer of the National Association of County and City Health Officials.

To fully vaccinate children against Covid-19 by the time school starts, many parents must act now

CNN, 28 June 2021

It takes five weeks to be fully vaccinated with Pfizer’s vaccine, the only one authorized for adolescents ages 12 to 17. That means, for example, Atlanta students need to get their first shot by July 1 to be fully immunized by the first day of school on August 5.

COVID and schools: the evidence for reopening safely

Nature, 7 July 2021

“Stop asking whether schools are safe. Instead, acknowledge that in-person instruction is essential; then apply the principles we learned from other essential services to keep schools open…”

How Some Districts Are Trying To Get Anxious Families Back Into School Buildings

NPR, 26 July 2021

Over the past year, the nation’s Black and Latino communities have seen some of the highest rates of COVID-19 infection. And a new survey from the RAND Corporation found Black and Latino families are also more hesitant to send their children back to in-person school.


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