November 15, 2021: Pathway Forward


Dear LWSD Staff and Families, 

We would like to share some important updates regarding our ongoing response to COVID-19 related to quarantine protocols, testing, and vaccination. As a school district, we are responsible for implementing guidance provided to us from the Washington State Department of Health. This includes directions for health and safety measures that impact both students and staff. The guidance is updated frequently and with each update, we are required to review and plan for implementation. The most recent update reflected changes in contact tracing protocols, quarantine guidelines and guidance related to performing arts.

Quarantine 
The change in quarantine guidelines should reduce the impact on our students and families. The newest guidance reflects a 7-day quarantine period for unvaccinated students identified as close contacts. In order to be eligible for a 7-day quarantine period, students must be asymptomatic and have received a negative COVID test at least 5 days past their last exposure.   

In addition to the new quarantine timeline, we have provided our schools with guidance to determine quarantine requirements for students who are demonstrating symptoms. With our youngest students now having access to vaccines, some children may demonstrate vaccine reactions that appear quite similar to COVID symptoms. For example, students may have fatigue or muscle aches which can mimic COVID symptoms.  If these symptoms resolve within 48 hours and are limited only to those symptoms observed following a COVID vaccination, your child can return to school without a COVID test or quarantine. 

Testing
The district is currently offering testing for students. We have capacity to provide testing to support students and families under the new Department of Health Guidance. Our goal is to return students back to school as soon as possible. We are also encouraging families to take advantage of community testing sites.  

Additionally, with the new quarantine timeline that requires a negative test result, we expect an increase in demand at our district test centers. Lake Washington School District offers regional test sites for students and families that may have difficulty accessing community test centers. These test sites are located at Redmond High School, Eastlake High School, Kamiakin Middle School and Emerson K-12. Tests are offered after school hours, Monday – Thursday, and on Saturdays. Testing is free and while insurance is not required, you will be asked to provide your insurance information if available. Testing is by appointment only (due to limited staff availability). Please contact your child’s school if you’d like to schedule your student for testing.

We are applying for the Test-to-Stay program in order for us to be able to evaluate that option as capacity for testing becomes available.

Vaccinations 
With pediatric vaccines for ages 5-11 now approved and becoming available, the need for testing may shift. While we don’t know how many of our families will opt for vaccination, we do know that the 1,800 doses that were offered were taken within minutes of Seattle Visiting Nurse Association (SVNA) opening the registration process. For those families that are still wanting to find out more about vaccinations you can get information from King County Public Health: 

Sincerely, 
Jon 

Dr. Jon Holmen 
Superintendent 
Lake Washington School District