New COVID-19 Guidance For Fall 2022
Dear YSD Families,
We are writing to share new information from the State Department of Health about COVID-19 health and safety guidance for schools this fall. Following these safety measures reduces the spread of COVID-19. This letter explains how the updated guidance impacts your family and the community.
Health and safety requirements for this fall:
Students and staff who show symptoms of COVID-19 are required to stay home and should get tested for COVID-19.
Students and staff who test positive for COVID-19 are required to isolate at home for five days. On or after day 6, if symptoms improve and they have had no fever for the past 24 hours without using fever-reducing medications, students and staff can return to school and are encouraged to test before returning.
Students and staff who test positive after five days of isolation must stay home for the entire 10-day isolation period.
It is recommended but not required that students and staff eligible to return to school after their five days of isolation:
wear a well-fitted mask from days 6 to 10, and
remain masked for sports and other extracurricular activities on days 6 to 10.
Although schools are no longer required to notify high-risk students or staff of potential exposure directly, our school WILL continue to notify high-risk students and their families of exposure.
YSD will communicate cases and outbreaks to families via our COVID dashboard at www.YSD7.org/COVID19
These requirements are in place for all public and private K-12 schools and child care facilities in Washington state. Schools and child care facilities are required by state law to follow these guidelines.
To reduce the spread of COVID-19, free COVID-19 testing for students and staff is available at the Yakima School District Health and Wellness Education Center, located at 331 North 1st Street (across from Mel’s Diner). The testing site is available to YSD students, YSD staff, and members of their households from 1-4:00 pm Monday through Friday when school is in session. Testing will resume on August 22, 2022.
Households are encouraged to test as needed at home. In Washington state, you can request to receive free self-tests from the Say Yes! COVID Test program. In addition, most insurance covers the costs of up to eight self-tests per individual per month.
COVID-19 vaccinations remain the best protection against hospitalization and severe disease from COVID-19. The COVID-19 vaccine is now available for children six months and older. Booster doses are also available for children five years and older. You are encouraged to vaccinate your children if they are eligible, in consultation with your health care provider.
You can reach us at the new Health and Wellness Education center at 509-573-5010 for help or more information on COVID guidance or testing. Please check out our summer newsletter!
We look forward to creating safe and healthy spaces for our students!
The YSD Health and Wellness Team
- Frequent hand washing is encouraged; hand sanitizer is available throughout the buildings when hand washing is not easily accessible.
- Continuous cleaning and disinfecting.
- Stay home when sick and seek evaluation.
- Test frequently and as indicated.
- Schools will use isolation rooms for symptomatic students awaiting parent/guardian pick-up.
Updated guidelines for schools and day care providers can be found here: https://doh.wa.gov/sites/
The Yakima School District maintains a dashboard of COVID impacts here. You are encouraged to check it frequently. Starting March 14, 2022, it will be updated two to three times each week.
When staff or students have potential COVID-19 symptoms, the YSD COVID-19 Response Team, in coordination with the Yakima Health District, conducts an interview to determine, if possible, if the person is positive for COVID-19 and who might be a close contact (within 3-6 feet, depending on the situation, for a total of 15 minutes). Then:
Close contacts families and staff will be contacted by the school nurse and given instructions. In some cases, they may need to isolate or quarantine, but each situation can be unique. If a parent/guardian gets a close contact call from a school nurse, parents/guardians should expect the following.
- a return date for when the child will be eligible to return
- a list of symptoms to look for
- instructions on what to do if they see those symptoms
- identification of testing locations
- information on how to report POSITIVE results back to school
- who to contact if they have any questions
Please note that the Yakima School District1) does not offer the test to stay program, but does offer a static test site open weekdays from 1:00 - 4:00 pm at 331 N. First St. Yakima, WA 989001 (note that it is not open on school holidays).2) should a student wish to return after a five-day quarantine: they need to be asymptomatic or their symptoms need to be resolving; they need to be fever-free for 24 hours without fever-reducing medication, they need to agree to wear a well-fitting mask for days 6-10 and/or have a negative test.
Often, notifications come through ParentSquare. Please note that although a parent/guardian will have access to more engagement tools if they are registered in ParentSquare, they do not need to be registered in ParentSquare to receive messages from teachers, the school, or the district. To register for ParentSquare, or for more info, go to www.YSD7.org/parentsquare
COVID-19 Symptom Decision Tree
If you or your student have risk factors, please contact your provider if you become symptomatic. A list of identified conditions can be found on the CDC website at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/people-with-medical-conditions.html.WA DOH encourages ALL people with symptoms to get tested, regardless of vaccine status. Antigen (Rapid) tests work best within the first 7 days of symptoms. If a person has symptoms but has a negative test, a health care provider may recommend a PCR test to confirm the results.