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MEAD, Wash. - Mead School District is getting in line with the new changes to CDC recommendations for K-12 schools in regards to the length of the quarantine period along with how the school handles COVID outbreaks. 

The district will now allow students and staff who tested positive to return after five days of quarantining, returning on the sixth day. 

Students who are considered to be in close contact to a positive case will be able to go through the "Test-to-Stay" protocol, in which they may stay after an initial test if they remain symptom free or symptoms are resolving.

Additionally, if three or more students or staff within the same class test positive and their exposure cannot be traced outside of class or five total people from the class test positive, the class must close.

Mead is also addressing the shortage in testing supplies. They said they're quickly running out of materials and but are expecting a resupply from the Department of Health. 

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Dear Mead School District Families - 

The Washington Department of Health released updated K-12 COVID-19 Requirements - the full document is linked here. There is a lot of information to understand, and it’s not easy to follow all of the different situations that can arise. However, the changes to the guidance will result in more students and staff staying in school.

Important changes to the state and local guidance are listed below, but please refer to the DOH document linked above to get the full update.

·  Four COVID-related circumstances that would keep a student/staff member out of school/activities:

o    Test positive for COVID-19

o    No tests are available due to lack of testing supplies

o    Their school/cohort/classroom/team is closed due to meeting threshold number of cases (see below bullet for thresholds)

o    They are not able to wear mask properly or have a mask exemption

·  Students/staff who have tested positive are required to quarantine for 5 days (down from 10 days) before returning on Day 6. The date of symptom onset or positive test is Day 0, the following day is Day 1. 

·  Those considered close contacts to a positive case can enter the Test-To-Stay protocol and attend school/activities as long as they remain symptom-free - or symptoms are resolving - while completing initial test and test on Day 5 after exposure. 

·  Cohorts/Classrooms/Teams are required to close if there are three or more cases with no outside exposure or five total cases in a two-week period. They can return on Day 6 with a negative test or after 10 days if choosing not to test.

Mentioned above was a reference to a lack of testing supplies, so we wanted to address where we are currently. We have not received any supply recently from the Department of Health as part of the required testing program and have very nearly exhausted our supply to keep up with the state requirements for participation in in-person learning and extracurricular activities. We have heard from DOH that they are working to meet requests as quickly as possible and that shipping has been complicated by recent mountain pass closures from heavy snowfall.