Vol 4, Issue 5



September 26, 2022

Happy Monday! Today we are talking about the lifting of the COVID-19 emergency proclamations at the end of October and what this means for K-12 schools. Also, we are highlighting the inspiring work of Cape Flattery School District to maintain in-person learning throughout the pandemic.

While you’re here, check out these new school resources from L2R and DOH:

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COVID-19 Emergency Proclamations are Lifting: What does that mean for K-12 schools? 

An abstract colorful graphic of a black teacher inside a classroom keeping a safe distance from her students and wearing a mask.

On October 31, the last of Governor Inslee’s COVID-19 emergency proclamations will be lifted, including those tied to some requirements for in-person learning in K-12 settings. 

What does this mean for school testing and COVID-19 management as we prepare for likely COVID-19 surges this fall and winter?

We are getting the Learning Network together to talk about these changes, best practices for school testing moving forward, and how to provide safe in-person learning and extracurriculars throughout the fall and winter.

Join us for a panel discussion on October 4th from 10-11am PT to get insights from leaders on these issues before the emergency proclamations are lifted at the end of the month.

Our panel will include representatives from the Washington State Department of Health, the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, and the Association of Educational Service Districts. 

Following the panel, school leaders will be invited to share their plans, concerns, and goals for the rest of the school year. The event will conclude with a Q&A session.

What to expect starting November 1st? 

A few insights from DOH

The Department of Health will continue to provide COVID-19 guidance based on existing science, strategies, and the most recent health recommendations to protect school and child care communities and reduce COVID-19 transmission and outbreaks.

When the emergency proclamations are lifted at the end of October, some requirements will stay the same while others will become recommended strategies to mitigate COVID-19 transmission in schools and child care programs.

Here are a few details:

  • Learn to Return COVID-19 testing supplies, distribution processes, and labor funding will continue to be available through the 2022-23 school year.
  • The employee COVID-19 vaccination requirement will end on October 31st; this includes employees, volunteers, and indoor contractors in educational settings.
  • How testing results are reported to DOH will not change.
  • The requirement to report COVID-19 cases and outbreaks and work with public health will stay the same. This requirement was in effect for all notifiable conditions before the COVID-19 pandemic and will continue to be in effect for schools and child care programs.
    • All COVID-19 cases, outbreaks, and suspected outbreaks in schools and child care settings are required to be reported to the Local Health Jurisdiction (LHJ) in accordance with Washington State law. 
  • Schools, child care providers, and the general public are required to cooperate with public health authorities in the investigation of cases and outbreaks that may be associated with the school or child care.
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A Testing Success story

Cape Flattery Finds a Way Forward With School Testing

A landscape photo of Neah Bay highschool

Cape Flattery School District worked closely with the Makah Tribe to set up batched testing for Neah Bay school teachers who lived outside of the reservation grounds during quarantine.

From the beginning of the pandemic, school testing played a crucial role in providing safe learning environments for students and providing testing for the wider school community.

“Our community is very small and one of the only institutions is the school, and so by having the opportunity to do school testing, we were able to extend that to community members as well.”
Michelle Parkin

Superintendent for Cape Flattery School District

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Washington Post – 19 September 2022. The broad protection from the updated bivalent boosters could prevent more than 100,000 hospitalizations in the coming months. But many people still have questions about who should get the new booster, the best timing for the shot and if it would be better to delay the booster until covid surges again. Here are some answers.

Fauci tempers Biden’s declaration that pandemic is ‘over’

Seattle Times – 20 September 2022. Outgoing presidential COVID adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci on Monday walked back President Joe Biden’s assertion that the coronavirus pandemic was “over.” A lot depends on how we respond to current variables and future virus variants, the nation’s top infectious disease expert said during a fireside chat with the Center for Strategic and International Studies. And much of that is up to the American people.

Potent new boosters are here. Will weary Americans bother?

Seattle Times – 19 September 2022. The new boosters are one of the last weapons in America’s arsenal against the coronavirus now that the country has scrapped most requirements to mask, quarantine or distance. The push for a new vaccine — barely noticed by some people — will test how the country responds at a time when the sense of crisis over COVID has abated.

A doctor discusses what to know about long COVID

Medium, Washington State Department of Health, 16 September 2022. For some, a COVID-19 infection is short-lived. But many others experience long COVID – long-term effects that linger for months or years after infection. An estimated 1 in 13 adults in the U.S. currently has long COVID. Janna L. Friedly M.D., M.P.H., who treats long COVID patients at the UW Medicine Post COVID Rehabilitation and Recovery Clinic at Harborview Medical Center, discusses what we know about the illness and what support is available.

October the best time to get COVID boosters, flu shots, experts say

ABC News, 21 September 2022. With doctor’s offices and pharmacies now offering seasonal flu shots and updated COVID-19 boosters, experts are urging Americans to get both, with many saying October is the best time. It’s safe for people to get both shots during the same visit.
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