VOL 2, ISSUE 2

28 September 2021

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

update

Revised Reporting Requirements

Health Commons and Washington State Department of Health (DOH) have worked together to minimize the reporting burden on L2R schools.

Until we have access to a web-based reporting system that allows for bulk uploads of results, we ask that schools hold off on reporting negative and inconclusive results and only report positive results via SimpleReport.

 

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Announcing the L2R Learning Network!

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, L2R has worked with K–12 schools across Washington state. Together, we’ve built and managed testing programs, navigated challenges, uncertainties, and even the dreaded outbreak. The Learning Network is a platform for schools across Washington state to share the experience and knowledge gained along the way.

The Learning Network is collaborative, free, and open to all Washington state schools – both those that are enrolled in L2R and those that are not.

join us for the Learning Network’s kick-off event!

Thursday, Sept 30

1:00 – 2:30 pm

From Diagnostic to Outbreak: How to Rapidly Scale Your Diagnostic Testing Program to Respond to School Outbreaks

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WASHINGTON STATE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH

New DOH Recommendations

On September 14, 2021, DOH released new guidance on optional strategies that schools can implement to reduce COVID-19 transmission among teachers, staff, and students.

The guidance more clearly defines the Test-to-Stay Program, a modified quarantine approach for unvaccinated K–12 students who were exposed to COVID-19 in school. With this approach, students may continue to attend class in a modified quarantine status for seven days after exposure if they:

are tested at least twice* during the seven days of quarantine

are asymptomatic

continue to wear a mask

continue to quarantine from extracurricular activities

To participate in Test-to-Stay, your school must be approved by your local health jurisdiction (LHJ). If your LHJ agrees that your school can use the Test-to-Stay approach, be sure to confirm the following:

 

1) What types of tests should be used

(rapid vs. PCR or both)

2) *At what cadence you should be testing students

If you have LHJ approval (via a Memorandum of Agreement) and can answer those questions, L2R can provide the resources and technical support to implement Test-to-Stay in your school.

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THE L2R TOOLBOX IS LIVE!

Now the Resources You Need Are All In One Place!

L2R is providing more of what you want and need — resources to combat COVID-19 in your schools. This week we’re launching the L2R Toolbox.

The L2R Toolbox will be a living resource where you can access and download one-pagers, posters, graphics, and more to support your school’s COVID-19 testing and vaccination communications. We’ve launched the Toolbox with some essential content to get you started, and we’ll update you as we add more exciting and practical tools.

 

Contact us at schools@healthcommonsproject.org

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Heads up about testing ad in October

DOH will be running an ad campaign on television and social media, encouraging parents and guardians to allow their child to be tested for COVID-19 at school. The ads inform parents that COVID-19 testing is safe, easy and helps keep our schools open. The campaign is set to run for eight weeks, beginning the second week of October. We hope it will increase participation for testing in schools!

NEWS ROUND UP

The latest COVID-19 articles and podcasts

An illustration of a woman wearing headphones next to the word "listen"

Why schools still need a remote option to mitigate COVID-19

TechTank Podcast from Brookings

September 20, 2021 – 46 min

Navigating another pandemic school year

Did You Wash Your Hands? from the New York Times

September 9, 2021 – 17 min

Season Finale: Delta Variant and the School Year

Teens and Vaccines

September 2021 – 36 min

An illustration of a man reading a news story on a cell phone next to the word "Read"
A nurse wearing a mask leans over to administer a vaccination to a teenaged boy.

COVID Vaccine For Kids Ages 5 To 11 Is Safe And Effective, Pfizer Says

NPR, September 20, 2021

The first results from the highly anticipated trial studying the effectiveness and safety of the Pfizer and BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11 showed promising results.

A teacher walks among masked student sitting at socially distanced tables

What we know so far about when kids can get vaccinated for COVID-19

LA Times, September 21, 2021

Pfizer says its COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective in children ages 5 to 11.

A graph showing that states with less access to in-person school also have more negative parental perceptions of student learning during the pandemic

U.S. schools with mask requirements are seeing fewer outbreaks, the C.D.C. finds.

NY Times, September 24, 2021

School mask mandates have generated controversy in many parts of the country. Now, two studies, published on Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, provide additional evidence that masks protect children from the coronavirus, even when community rates are high and the contagious Delta variant is circulating.

A teacher walks among masked student sitting at socially distanced tables

How Some Schools Are Using Weekly Testing To Keep Kids In Class — And COVID Out

NPR, September 24, 2021

On a recent Monday morning, a group of preschoolers filed into the gymnasium at Hillside School in the west Chicago suburbs. These 4- and 5-year-olds were the first of more than 200 students to get tested for the coronavirus that day — and every Monday — for the foreseeable future.

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SWAB AND JAB / EPISODE 2

The Gang Goes to School

Swab, Jab and Masky help keep their friends safe at school!