COVID-19 Information for Waitsburg Schools

Important References

Waitsburg School District will continue to work collaboratively with our county and state health departments to prioritize student and staff safety. Assuring that our students and staff remain healthy and safe is critical to keeping our schools open.  All Washington school districts must continue to adhere to the requirements set forth by the Department of Health (DOH), Labor and Industries (L&I), the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), and the Governor’s Office. On August 11, 2021 the OSPI and DOH released their updated guidance for all schools in their publication “K-12 COVID-19 Requirements for Summer 2021 and the 2021-2022 School Year.” Currently, all staff, students and visitors are required to wear masks/face coverings while indoors at schools, regardless of vaccination status. Face coverings are not required to be worn outdoors. It is important to note that this is a legal requirement for all Washington public schools and cannot be changed by local school boards.

student wearing face mask working at desk

Key Requirements

  1. All school district staff, students, volunteers, and visitors must wear face coverings when inside district facilities, regardless of vaccination status.

  2. Masks are not required to be worn while outside on school campuses. 

  3. Students will be distanced at least three feet apart in classrooms and six feet apart in common areas of the school to the extent feasible.

  4. Students and staff do NOT need to have their temperatures taken or complete daily health attestations

     

Safety Expectations

Please remind your child of the following health tips:

  • Do not come to school when you are sick, regardless of vaccination status.

  • Practice physical distancing.

  • Wear a face covering over your nose and mouth.

  • Wash your hands often.

Additionally, planned activities, meetings, and other events may need to be postponed or cancelled as a result of local COVID spread, updated school requirements, etc. Our district will make every effort to communicate any such changes with families as quickly as possible.

Confirmed Cases

Waitsburg School District will not share the names of individuals who have been diagnosed with COVID-19. If a Waitsburg student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19, our district will share the information about the diagnosis with the Walla Walla County Department of Community Health (WWCDCH). Upon confirmation that a student or staff member has tested positive for COVID-19, Waitsburg School District staff will immediately conduct required contact tracing. If it is determined that a student or staff member had close contact^ with a person who tested positive, they will be contacted directly by WSD staff with instructions about monitoring symptoms, quarantining, and testing.

^Close Contact Definitions:

  • In an indoor K-12 classroom, a close contact is defined as a student who was wearing a face covering and was less than 3 feet from another student with COVID-19 for at least 15 minutes over 24 hours.

  • Outside of the classroom, a close contact is defined as someone who is within 6 feet of a person with COVID-19 for at least 15 minutes over 24 hours.

  • For more information on close contact definitions in Washington schools, please refer to page 11 of the OSPI “K-12 COVID-19 Requirements for Summer 2021 and the 2021-2022 School Year” linked on our website.

Waitsburg School District will only contact those who are considered close contacts and provide next steps. If you do not receive a phone call, then your child does not meet the close contact criteria. No further action is needed. Your child may continue with in-person instruction.

Confirmed Outbreak

Washington State Department of Health defines an “outbreak” as two or more students or staff members who have tested positive for COVID-19, who are linked through a shared location, such as a classroom or school bus, and did not have significant contact outside of the school grounds. If a COVID-19 outbreak is identified in Waitsburg schools, we may be required to suspend in-person instruction for students in the specified shared location. We will communicate with Waitsburg staff, students, and families accordingly. 

Quarantine

Quarantine is when someone who has been exposed to COVID-19 stays home and away from others for the recommended period of time in case they were infected and are contagious. Your child may be exempt from quarantine if they are fully vaccinated and do not have symptoms. However, they still should be tested 5 days following a known exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.  An unvaccinated student who has been exposed to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 must quarantine for at least 7 days and provide a negative test result to their school before returning.  If an unvaccinated student does not provide a negative test result, he/she must quarantine for at least 10 days before returning to school.