8 November 2021

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

The learning network

Contact Tracing in Focus

Schools have taken on a large burden to meet the demand for case investigation and contact tracing (CICT) as COVID-19 transmission continues over the course of the school year. Staff are looking for support to help maximize their efforts in keeping schools safe and open.

Join us for an in-depth discussion on CICT best practices, how to access and integrate available resources, and what can be learned from other districts across the state.

We will cover topics like:

  • A case study from Spokane Public Schools & break-out sessions featuring case studies from each ESD region.
  • How to access DOH’s labor partner to outsource portions of your contact tracing.
  • A review of new CICT implementation and management tools.
  • How updated DOH guidance can prioritize your contact tracing efforts.

The event is free, but you must register to participate! Once registered, you will receive a confirmation email with a link for the event.

Don’t miss this chance to crowd source solutions with your peers from across the state and learn more about the resources available to support your CICT efforts.

Reach out to your L2R Program Manager with any questions or concerns.

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Vaccine roll-out

Approval for Ages 5-11

The FDA and CDC have authorized the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use to prevent COVID-19 in children ages 5 to 11.

Here’s what you need to know:

      • The vaccine will be available in Washington State very soon at doctor’s offices, local pharmacies, community-based vaccination events, and school-based vaccination events.
      • The vaccine is one-third of the adult dose, but the dosing schedule is the same as it is for older kids and adults: two doses, three weeks apart, with full protection two weeks after second dose.
      • Recent polls have shown reluctance among parents, including those who are immunized, to get their kids vaccinated. Targeted communications to address misinformation and promote the benefits of the vaccine are needed to help drive vaccine uptake.

L2R is ready to help you launch vaccination events for your school district and develop a communications plan for these events. Reach out to us today to get started.

Visit our Vaccine FAQs page for more information about the pediatric vaccine!

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DOH K-12 Requirements

Updates focus on reduced quarantine timelines, contact tracing efforts, and safety policies for performing arts events. 

Here are some key takeaways:

Reduce lost learning days: The seven-day quarantine

  • Close contacts may return to school after seven days pending a negative PCR or rapid antigen test result on or after the fifth day following known exposure and no symptoms have developed.
  • Student close contacts in a Test-to-Stay district can continue attending class if they remain asymptomatic, test negative at least twice within seven days from known exposure, and quarantine from extracurricular activities.
  • Vaccinated individuals DO NOT need to quarantine following exposure unless they are experiencing symptoms.
  • See page 12 & 13 of K-12 Requirements for the 2021-2022 School Year

Where to prioritize contact tracing efforts

  • DOH has defined high priority settings where schools should focus their efforts if they have limited resources to conduct contact tracing.
  • High priority settings include busses, indoor meal locations (where students are NOT spaced at least 6 feet apart), and activities that require close proximity or are high aerosol-generating like sports, performing arts, cheer, speech/debate, etc.
  • See K-12 Contact Tracing Guide and FAQ

Exclusions to “close contact” definition:

  • Students seated at least three feet apart and consistently and correctly wearing masks in an indoor/outdoor classroom are NOT considered close contacts (regardless of vaccination status).
  • Anyone seated at least six feet apart with or without a mask is NOT considered a close contact (regardless of vaccination status).
  • See page 12 of K-12 Requirements for the 2021-2022 School Year

Safety policies for performing arts

  • Masks are not required for fully vaccinated performers in high aerosol-generating activities, such as theatre, speech/debate, and competitive dance. However, unvaccinated performers must participate in screening testing to remove their mask for a rehearsal or performance.
  • See page 17 & 18 of K-12 Requirements for the 2021-2022 School Year

See the Summary of October 27, 2021 Changes in K-12 Requirements for the 2021-2022 School Year for further details.

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Lesson learned

Feedback from the first Learning Network event

We surveyed participants from the first Learning Network event to gauge their satisfaction and gather recommendations for improvement.

Here are the key takeaways:

      • Case studies like the Ocosta Elementary experience managing outbreaks help frame solutions in real-world scenarios. More case studies on priority topics are requested.
      • The breakout sessions by ESD allowed participants to voice their own challenges and learn from peers’ experiences. Additional time for break-out groups and networking would be beneficial.
      • The Q&A component helped address outstanding questions about implementation and policy. Sessions could begin with an overview of updated DOH guidance.

Thank you to everyone who responded. This data will help guide the development of future events.


Download the full summary here.

Don’t forget to register for the next event focusing on contact tracing support for school districts.

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News round up

Peruse the latest COVID-19 stories

Here’s a district-by-district look at vaccination levels in Washington state school districts

Seattle Times – November 3, 2021

  • Across Washington state, nearly 90% of all school workers are vaccinated. At the district level, many of the state’s largest school systems come close to this average or exceed it. But there are still pockets of unvaccinated workers across the state, the majority with religious exemptions.


Some parents want to wait to vaccinate their kids. Here's why doctors say do it now

NPR – November 3, 2021

  • Polls show that many parents are on the fence about whether and when to vaccinate their younger kids. We’ve talked to pediatricians and looked at the data to provide answers to common questions on parents’ minds.


All K-12 Students Can Now Get the COVID-19 Vaccine. Here’s What It Means for Schools

Education Week – November 2, 2021

  • School and district leaders can have a significant influence on those undecided parents, say public health experts, by connecting families with experts who can answer questions, incentivizing vaccine uptake through prizes, and by sharing their personal experiences with getting the vaccine, which helps normalize it.


Young Children Are Lining Up for Next Wave of Covid Vaccines

New York Times – November 3, 2021

  • The Biden administration has enlisted 20,000 pediatricians, family doctors and pharmacies to administer the shots and is shipping 15 million doses. About five million of them are allocated to pharmacies in the federal program that have been key to the adult vaccination rollout. The other 10 million are allocated to states.


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The Gang celebrates pediatric vaccines!

Print and hang these downloadable posters, use them for a coloring activity with your students, or post the digital versions on social media!