Quarantine & Testing Protocols
December 10, 2021
On November 23, the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) and the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) announced a new testing program for K-12 schools known as "Test-to-Stay." Once fully implemented, this program will reduce the number of students and staff required to quarantine following a "close contact" exposure in a school setting. Additionally, state testing guidance allows K-12 schools to adopt a Modified Quarantine period following an exposure to COVID-19 for students who remain symptom-free AND receive a negative test result when tested 5-7 days following any COVID-19 exposure.
Based on a review of these updates to state guidance, as well as stakeholder feedback, the Sherwood School District will be implementing the Modified Quarantine protocol starting today. We are additionally working to address the technical and training requirements of the full-scale Test-to-Stay program, with the goal of starting this program in early January 2022. For more information on these new protocols, please see below.
Modified Quarantine - Now Available!
Starting immediately, our district will be implementing a Modified Quarantine protocol. With this protocol, an individual who is in quarantine can take a test during days 5-7 following the initial exposure to a positive COVID-19 case. If that test is negative, the quarantine from school is shortened and the individual can return to school on day 8, if they have remained symptom-free for the duration of the quarantine period.
Is for those individuals who are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated (as fully vaccinated individuals are not currently required to quarantine as a close contact)
Can apply to any type of exposure, including in the classroom, on the school bus, during extracurricular activities/sports, in the community, or in their household
Can be approved with any negative test result from a test taken on days 5-7, including at-home tests or those from a healthcare provider
Is voluntary -- for those who do not wish to complete testing, the full 10-day quarantine will apply
For a student in quarantine to be approved for a Modified Quarantine, parents/guardians will be asked to:
Monitor their students for COVID-19 symptoms during the first seven days of quarantine
On day 5, 6, or 7: Provide an at-home COVID-19 test to their student -OR- receive testing from a healthcare provider/third party
Submit test results to email@example.com:
For at-home tests, please email a photograph of the negative test result with the date of the test written on the test kit in the photo. Please include student full name, grade, school of attendance, and date of initial exposure in the content of the email
For tests from healthcare providers or third party testing sites, please submit a photograph of the negative test results, making sure the date of the test is clearly visible
If your family needs access to an at-home test kit, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance
Health Services staff will verify the test results once received, and notify both the family and the school of the revised “return to school” date.
If your student develops symptoms while in quarantine, or if your student receives a positive test result, please report that update to the main office of your child’s school for further assistance.
Test-to-Stay - Coming in January
The state's new Test-to-Stay program provides timely access to testing for unvaccinated individuals identified as a close contact in a school setting -- including classrooms, school buses, and common areas -- in instances where masks were correctly and consistently worn. Testing is provided on-site at the school, and with a negative test result those individuals will not be required to quarantine. Participation in Test-to-Stay requires a second test administered on days 5-7 following the initial in-school exposure.
A few things to note regarding the Test-to-Stay protocol:
Tests are self-administered, and students taking tests will be supervised by a staff member trained as a test administrator
Students who were exposed during extracurricular/athletic activities do not qualify for the Test-to-Stay program; these close contacts will follow existing quarantine requirements
Testing is voluntary, and requires signed parent/guardian permission in advance; parents/guardians may also choose to come to the school office and assist their student in administering the test themselves. Close contacts who select not to participate in testing will follow existing quarantine requirements.
Individuals exposed to COVID-19 in their own household or in the community do not qualify for the Test-to-Stay program
Because the Test-to-Stay program has specific requirements for schools, including training for test administrators and an increased supply of test kits, additional time is needed to fully implement this program. Our district team is working on these requirements, with an estimated implementation timeline of early-to-mid January for the Test-to-Stay program. Please watch for additional communication in the coming weeks with more details about this program, including parent/guardian permission slips for those families who choose to participate.
There have been many changes and revisions to COVID-19 protocols over the last year, and while these new protocols represent yet another change, we are hopeful that moving forward with implementation of these testing measures will increase in-person attendance in school, while decreasing the need for quarantine for students and staff district-wide. We are grateful to all of our students, staff, and families for their patience, grace, and understanding as our district continues to respond to changes in guidance, and hope the implementation of these protocols will better meet the needs of all members of our Sherwood School District community moving forward.