MLSD Covid Update ~ August 31, 2021

From the Medical Lake School District Covid Care Team

Dear Medical Lake Community,

The Medical Lake schools and families did very well last school year with hygiene standards and practices. We will continue to maintain the same practice for 21/22 school year:

  • Handwashing and Respiratory Etiquette
  • Cleaning and Disinfecting
  • Good ventilation
  • Increased outdoor activities when possible
  • Physical distancing
  • We will not be requiring daily attestation forms. However, please review the symptom list below and stay home when sick

Washington State Department of Health released K-12 Covid-19 School requirements for the 21-22 school year with the following updates. We have captured some highlights within our newsletter. Entire document provided here: *Check page 14 -18 for Masking, Screening and Testing requirements for sporting activities*

We will continue to evaluate impacts to the district and we will provide more information as it is available.

Face Coverings/Masks

Indoor mask requirements: All MLSD school personnel, contractors, volunteers, visitors, and students must wear cloth face coverings, or an acceptable alternative (e.g., surgical mask or clear face shield with a drape), at school when indoors in accordance with the Secretary of Health’s Mask Order.

Outdoor Mask Requirements Per the Secretary of Health’s Mask Order, face coverings are not required outdoors, regardless of vaccination status.

Physical Distancing

Maintain physical distance of three feet or more between students in classroom settings to the degree possible and reasonable, that allows for full-time, in-person learning for all students. A school’s ability to do so will depend on students’ ages, developmental and physical abilities, and available space.

What to Do if Someone is a Close Contact of Someone with COVID-19

Generally, a close contact is someone who was within six feet of a person with COVID-19 for at least 15 cumulative minutes over a 24-hour period during the period of time when the person with COVID-19 was infectious. The infectious period of someone with COVID-19 starts two days before the onset of symptoms or is estimated as two days before the positive test collection date if someone with COVID-19 is asymptomatic. This definition applies regardless of whether the case or contact was wearing a mask. In a K-12 indoor classroom, the close contact definition excludes students who were at least three feet away from an infected student when (a) both students were wearing face coverings/masks and (b) other prevention strategies were in place. This exception does not apply to teachers, staff, or other adults in the indoor classroom setting. If identified as a close contact, a person may need to quarantine as outlined below.

Responding to Covid cases or suspected covid cases

Vaccinated people are exempt from quarantine: Close contacts who are fully vaccinated and do not have symptoms do not need to quarantine but should be tested 3-5 days following a known exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 and wear a mask in all public indoor spaces for 10 days or until they receive a negative test result.

Non Vaccinated people

If a close contact is neither fully vaccinated nor recovered from confirmed COVID-19 in the past three months and does not have symptoms, the close contact must quarantine unless the parent consents to a “test to stay” protocol. See test to stay details below.

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What is the difference between isolation and quarantine?

Isolation is what you do if you have COVID-19 symptoms, or have tested positive for COVID-19. Isolation means you stay home and away from others (including household members) for the recommended period of time to avoid spreading illness.

Quarantine is what you do if you have been exposed to COVID-19. Quarantine means you stay home and away from others for the recommended period of time in case you are infected and are contagious. Quarantine becomes isolation if you later test positive for COVID-19 or develop COVID-19 symptoms.

See this infographic for more information about isolation and quarantine.

More on Quarantine

There are three options for duration of quarantine.

  • Quarantine should last at least 10 days after the last close contact with the COVID-19 positive person. Monitor for symptoms during this time, and if any COVID-19 symptoms develop during the 10 days, get tested.
  • However, if any COVID-19 symptoms develop during the 10 days, remain in quarantine the full 14 days and get tested. Continue monitoring for symptoms until day 14.
  • Quarantine can end after 7 full days beginning after the last close contact if no symptoms have developed and after receiving a negative test result. The test should occur no sooner than 48 hours (2 days) before ending quarantine. Continue monitoring for symptoms until day 14.

If students are identified as a close contact within schools, please see the below 'Test to Stay' protocol.

Test to Stay

Process outline for Test to Stay Testing for the school setting:

The district will identify when an individual or group meets a quarantine threshold and there exists a desire to utilize Test to Stay Testing to keep a student in school.

  • Notify parents of the students in that group of the need for quarantine, the option for Test to Stay Testing, and the consent process for school-based testing.
  • On the next available school day, do baseline testing of all student/s participating in Test to Stay Testing.
  • Do a second round of testing after the baseline at 3-6 days after the baseline test.

*if a student has a positive person in their home contact the covid care team for guidance

Questions about testing?

Return to School

Isolation If a person tests positive for SARS-CoV-2 by a molecular or antigen test, they can return to school when the following criteria are met:

  • 10 days since symptom onset, or since positive test specimen collection date if no symptoms are present (up to 20 days for those for those who are severely ill or severely immunocompromised), AND
  • 24 hours after fever resolves without use of fever-reducing medications, AND
  • Symptoms have improved
  • This isolation guidance applies regardless of vaccination status.

Vaccination Info/Clinics

The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) is leading the COVID-19 vaccine distribution process in Washington state. All Washingtonians ages 12 and older are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccination. Getting vaccinated for COVID-19 is a safe, effective way to protect yourself and your community from COVID-19. Use Vaccine Locator to find vaccine locations and schedule an appointment.

If you are in need of transportation for your covid vaccination appointment call: Special Mobility Services (SMS) at: (509) 534-9760

More information about SMS click here:

Vaccination Verification

Fully vaccinated students, please provide vaccination documentation to your school nurse. Staff can provide their vaccination documentation to the MLSD HR Department.

  • Acceptable documentation for verifying the vaccination status of students, volunteers and visitors includes at least one of the following:
  • CDC vaccination card which includes name of person vaccinated, type of vaccine provided, and date(s) administered, or a photo of the vaccination card.
  • Documentation of vaccination from a health care provider with the information listed above.
  • State immunization information system record with the information listed 4 above.
  • Other school immunization record system that provides the information above.
  • Parent/guardian or personal attestation is not an acceptable form of verification for K12 students, nor for volunteers or visitors.

Toll free Hotline you can call to get answers to school related COVID-19 questions at SRHD: 1-888-338-3821 (days/hours: M-F 7:30a-5:00p)

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

As we navigate COVID-19 pandemic, there is a bank of FAQs from SRHD (click here).

Did you know?

The Medical Lake School District Covid Care Team maintains a covid dashboard with up to date account of positive covid cases at each of our schools and what level each school is assessed at determined by the Spokane Regional Health Department (SRHD) on the Medical Lake School District website. We have included the link here:

On behalf of the Covid Care Team, we wish you, your loved ones and friends, good health!

Rey Ornelas, Military Family Liaison & Covid Coordinator

Lori Koellen, District Nurse

Sarah Collins, MAE Nurse

Tina Demond, ESD Nurse Lead

Christy Nauta, Human Resources Director

Tawni Barlow, Student Services Director

Please do not hesitate to contact our team if you have any questions - email:

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Non Discrimination Notice

Medical Lake School District does not discriminate with respect to race, creed, religion, color, national origin, age, honorably discharged veteran or military status, sex, sexual orientation including gender expression or identity, marital status, the presence of any sensory, mental or physical disability or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability, and provides equal access to the Boy scouts and other designated youth groups. The following employee(s) has been designated to handle questions and complaints of alleged discrimination: District Data-HR Coordinator,, 116 W Third St, Medical Lake Wa 99022 (509)565‐3100, Title IX Coordinator,, 116 W Third St, Medical Lake Wa 99022 (509)565‐3100, Section 504 Coordinator,, 116 W Third St, Medical Lake Wa 99022 (509)565‐3100