School Health & Safety
September 28, 2021
Modified quarantine information
Last week, the Snohomish Health District met with school districts throughout Snohomish County and shared that they would now permit the duration of the quarantine period for those individuals identified as close contacts to be modified, in alignment with requirements for K-12 schools established by the Washington State Department of Health (page 12). Previously, the Snohomish Health District had required that unvaccinated staff and students quarantine for a 14-day period when identified as a close contacts. The Snohomish Health District is now allowing school districts to shorten the quarantine period to 10 after the last close contact, without requiring testing. If any symptoms develop during the 10 days, individuals must remain in quarantine for the full 14 days and get tested.
Close contact - 10-day quarantine
- In order to minimize students' time out of school and potential learning loss, the Snohomish School District has moved to this 10-day quarantine period for unvaccinated close contacts. Identified close contacts may return to school 10 days after their last close contact with a COVID-19 positive individual without testing, as long as they are symptom free. We will also continue to support those families who prefer to keep their students home for the 14-day quarantine. This change went into effect on Monday, September 27.
Close contact - 7-day quarantine option (with testing)
- In addition, the Snohomish Health District, in alignment with the Washington State Department of Health, is now permitting a modified 7-day quarantine period for unvaccinated close contacts with proof of a negative test and as long as they continue to be symptom free. For those who choose this option, they must stay in quarantine for 7 full days beginning after the last contact with the positive person and they must receive a negative test result (get tested no sooner than day 5 after last contact). The test which must be completed on day 5, 6 or 7 of the quarantine period must be a physician-, lab-, pharmacy- or clinic-confirmed test and must include the person’s name, date of test, name of testing facility and test results. Results must be presented and verified by the school nurse or school principal. This change went into effect on Monday, September 27.
Close contact - Vaccinated or have tested positive for COVID-19 within past 90 days
- Fully vaccinated people (2 weeks after last vaccination dose) or those who have had a documented case of COVID-19 within the last 90 days with no symptoms do not need to quarantine after COVID-19 exposure. Watch for symptoms for 14 days and recommendations include getting tested 3-5 days after exposure. If symptoms develop, get tested.
Test positive for COVID-19 - 10-day isolation
- For those who test positive for COVID-19, the state guidance has not changed.
- Return to school after 10-day isolation period (from the date of testing (if no symptoms) or from the date of symptom onset).
- If symptoms or fever persist after 10-day isolation, person who tested positive can return when there is no fever and symptoms are improving.
- Stay home for the full 10-day isolation period, regardless of symptoms or test results.
Area COVID-19 testing locations
There are a number of sites and resources available locally for students and adults to get tested for COVID-19. Click any of the links below to learn more about programs available to those from our community:
In K-12 indoor classrooms, the state’s close contact definition excludes students who were at least 3-feet away from an infected student when (a) both students were wearing face coverings/masks and (b) other prevention strategies were in place. No quarantine is necessary unless symptoms develop.
Who should be tested for COVID-19?
It is recommended that you/your child should be tested for COVID-19 infection between 3-5 days after the date of exposure or if symptoms of COVID-19 develop. Call your medical provider for testing or visit the Snohomish Health District’s website for testing locations at www.snohd.org/testing.
If you/your child’s test result shows a positive test for COVID-19, please notify your school nurse or school principal as soon as possible.
Click here to be redirected to a number of state K-12 COVID-19 documents and resources.
If a student or staff member is not feeling well and has any symptoms of illness, even mild ones, please stay home. Symptoms could include cough, sore throat, fever, fatigue, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, or loss of taste or smell. One symptom is enough to warrant staying home as a precaution. We know it can be frustrating to stay home with mild symptoms. Children get sniffles, a cough, or upset stomach from time to time, and this is usually not cause for alarm. But this pandemic is the time for extra caution, and all students and staff should stay home even if symptoms are mild. If a student or staff member with symptoms does go to school, or if they start having symptoms while they are at school, expect they will be isolated and sent home as soon as possible. This means an ill student would likely be asked to wait in a dedicated room where they are not near others until a parent/guardian arrives to take them home. Students who are ill or are symptomatic should be picked up within 30 minutes of parents/guardians being contacted.
Class A symptoms:
- Fever (defined as subjective or 100.4 F or higher)
- Loss of sense of taste and/or smell
- Shortness of breath/difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
- Diarrhea (defined as 2 or more loose stool in 24 hours)
Upon returning home
The information in this section only pertains to those individuals who are not a confirmed close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19:
- If the student or staff member is tested for COVID-19 (physician-, lab-, pharmacy- or clinic-confirmed test) and the results are negative, they may return to school once their symptoms have improved, and they’ve been fever-free for at least 24 hours. Anyone with symptoms is encouraged to get tested.
- If a student or staff member has symptoms but is not tested for COVID-19, they must remain home according to the timelines below and at least 24 hours after fever is gone and symptoms have improved:
- 1 class A symptom of any duration = 10-day quarantine
- 2 class B symptoms of any duration = 10-day quarantine
- 1 class B symptom lasting more than 24 hours = 10-day quarantine
- Those who have symptoms but have not tested for COVID-19 and are not close contacts of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, may obtain a medical professional’s note clearing them for return. The medical professional’s note must be based on the individual’s established medical history or must include an alternative lab-confirmed diagnosis.
Mask/face covering exceptions may be made for students with certain medical conditions or receiving special education services in some cases and will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
- Before arriving at school
- Before meals or snacks
- After outside activities
- After going to the bathroom
- After sneezing or blowing their nose
Children and adults should not touch their eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. Hand sanitizer is available in the classroom and in other areas in the school for students to use under supervision.
Cover coughs or sneezes with a tissue, throw the tissue in the trash, and clean hands with soap and water or hand gel.
Click here to view an informational video from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regarding how and when to wash your hands and use hand sanitizer, and why keeping your hands clean is one of the best ways to protect you from getting sick.
Area COVID-19 vaccination sites
Adults age 18+ can get the two-dose Pfizer vaccine, two-dose Moderna vaccine or the one-dose Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The two-dose Pfizer vaccine is the only vaccine available for youth ages 12-17. Individuals are considered fully vaccinated once it has been 14 days since their last dose of Pfizer or Moderna or 14 days since their only dose of Janssen/Johnson & Johnson.
- Upcoming community-based clinics in Snohomish County
- Vaccine locator – Washington State Department of Health
- Vaccine finder (pharmacies) – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Mass vaccination sites in Snohomish County
- The Everett Clinic - (12+ at Smokey Point location, 18+ at other locations) at 425-339-4212
- Kaiser Permanente - (18 + or 12+ depending on location) at 1-800-352-3610 (parents/guardians of anyone under 18 who is not a member, please call)
- North Sound Pediatrics - (12+) at email@example.com
- Seattle Children's - (12+) Providing vaccination services to the general public, including their patients
- Skagit Regional Clinics – Smokey Point (18+) at 360-814-6300
- University of Washington - (12+) 1-844-520-8700
- Western Washington Medical Group - (12+) at 360-436-4888
The Snohomish School District, in its commitment to excellence, places the success of each student at the center of all decisions and actions. Partnerships and strong academic programs ensure competent, responsible, lifelong learners.