Vol 3, Issue 10

MAY 16, 2022

Happy Monday! Today we are covering the final Learning Network event of the school year, a jump in case rates for the K-12 population, and COVID-19 testing resources for summer camps.

Scroll down to the Below the fold” section for some SimpleReport housekeeping.

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Looking Ahead with Learn to Return

Our last Learning Network event of the year is happening May 31st! This is your chance to ask questions about the future of school-based testing, such as:

  • What will testing programs look like next year?
  • What changes to testing supplies are anticipated?
  • How will the labor fund work for us next year?
  • What types of services will external labor partners provide?

The event will feature updates from the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) and a curated Q&A with representatives from DOH, and Health Commons Project.

Send us your questions about the future of school-based testing before May 24th to be included in the discussion.

History in the making

Washington schools have risen to the challenge to keep schools open and safe during a catastrophic time in our history. During the Learning Network event, we will take a moment to celebrate your work over the past year and review the many accomplishments that have set Washington state apart.

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    Below the fold

    Testing for Summer Camps

    Rapid antigen point-of-care tests and over-the-counter tests are now available at no cost to summer camps and extracurricular organizations in Washington state who serve K-12 populations. 

    Here’s what to know:

    • The camp/extracurricular organization must have participants that are in the K-12 age range to be eligible for the CDC test kit resources. 
    • The camp/extracurricular organization does not need to be directly affiliated with a school to request tests, so long as the population they serve includes kids in the K-12 age range.
    • The CDC may collect metrics like Social Vulnerability Index (SVI) and whether the program serves underserved populations to help determine prioritization of requests.
    • Orders for testing supplies must be made by June 21, 2022!

    See the CDC Tests for Camps flyer for more information about this free testing resource. The flyer includes a link to get started with ordering tests. Please share this opportunity with your colleagues involved in these child- or youth-focused organizations.

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    SimpleReport Housekeeping

    Case rates are ticking up yet again after a lull in transmission, requiring some schools to ramp up testing before the end of the school year. If you have not logged into SimpleReport in a while, you may need to reactivate user accounts to submit results. 

    Here’s what to know:

    • SimpleReport deactivates users after 60 days if no one has logged in.
    • The organization administrator can quickly reactive user accounts by following this quick guide from SimpleReport, summarized below:
        1. Click the gear icon at the top right corner of the page.
        2. Find and click “Manage users.”
        3. Find the user that needs to be reactivated and click the “Activate user” button on their profile. Confirm reactivation.
        4. Please note: If the reactivated user doesn’t log in to SimpleReport before midnight on the day the account was reactivated, it will be deactivated again.

    Reach out to your L2R Program Manager with questions. 

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    K12 case rates on the rise

    Cases and hospitalizations among children and youth more than doubled over the last half of April.  Here are the key findings from the DOH report on cases among those ages 0-19 from April 17 to May 1, 2022:

    • There were a total of 5,249 cases for this period (278.4 cases per 100,000 population)    
    • The total number of cases (5,249) increased by 121% compared with the previous two-week reporting period (2,376). 
    • There were 41 hospitalizations (2.2 hospitalizations per 100,000 population). This is up from 17 hospitalizations over the previous reporting period.
    • The highest case rates were among 11 to 13-year-olds (308.4 cases per 100,000).
    • The highest case rates were in Educational Service District (ESD) 121.

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

    Related: Plummeting COVID testing has medical experts concerned.

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    Vax stats 

    Vaccination rates in school-aged children have stalled over the past several months with the lowest rates among children ages 5 to 11. Since late March, there has been less than a one percent increase in vaccination rates for all K-12 age groups in each category monitored by DOH (e.g., initiated vaccination, fully vaccinated, received a booster).

    Here are the figures from DOH as of May 11th.

    Ages 16-17:

    • 67.7% initiated vaccination (less than 1% increase since late March)
    • 62.2% fully vaccinated (less than 1% increase since late March)
    • 42.9% received a booster (no change since late March)

    Ages 12-15:

    • 59.5% initiated vaccination (no change since late March)
    • 54.6% fully vaccinated (no change since late March)
    • 39.1% received a booster (no change since late March)

    Ages 5-11:

    • 36.6% initiated vaccination (less than 1% increase since late March)
    • 32.4% fully vaccinated (less than 1% increase since late March)
    • This age group is not yet eligible for booster shots.

    As of May 11th, 68% of people 5 and older in Washington state have completed a primary series of vaccination.*

    * “Primary series” refers to someone’s first vaccinations, which can be 2 doses of Moderna/Pfizer or a single J&J dose. This was previously referred to as “fully vaccinated.”

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    COVID News

    COVID cases are up. Most mandates ended months ago. So where does WA stand?

    Seattle Times – May 12, 2022. Shifting public health guidance, the emergence of new variants and continued strain on hospitals has made it difficult for many to gauge their personal and community risk, leaving Washingtonians to wonder: Is this a new phase of the pandemic?

    This is how many lives could have been saved with COVID vaccinations in each state

    NPR – May 13, 2022. In Tennessee, 11,047 of the people who died could have survived if everyone in the state had gotten vaccinated. In Ohio, that number is 15,875. Nationally it’s nearly 319,000, according to a new estimate.

    Is It COVID, or Is It Allergies?

    Scientific American – May 11, 2022. Patient history, context and a few symptoms may help distinguish between the conditions.

    Plummeting COVID testing has medical experts concerned

    King 5 – May 11, 2022. Experts say testing has dropped by 70 to 90% worldwide from the first to the second quarter of this year — the opposite of what they say should be happening with new omicron variants on the rise in places such as the United States and South Africa.

    US ‘vulnerable’ to COVID without new shots

    The Associated Press – May 13, 2022. White House COVID-19 coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha issued a dire warning Thursday that the U.S. will be increasingly vulnerable to the coronavirus this fall and winter if Congress doesn’t swiftly approve new funding for more vaccines and treatments.

    Long Covid is ‘continuing to increase,’ experts say. Here’s how to know if you have it — and what to do about it

    NBC News – May 10, 2022. The term “long Covid” refers to the wide range of new, ongoing or returning health conditions that can affect people weeks or months after they’ve recovered from a Covid infection. Common symptoms include fatigue, difficulty breathing, heart palpitations, brain fog, lightheadedness, stomach pain and altered sense of taste or smell, the Centers for Disease Control says.

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    How Do Vaccines Work?

    Check out the first parts of Episode 7 to see where we left off.

    Read more Swab & JAB

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