Updated COVID guidelines, symptom trees

Updated COVID guidelines, symptom trees
Posted on 10/06/2021
This message was sent to Tahoma families and staff on Oct. 6.

Good morning,
As we continue to navigate full-time, in-person learning, we’ve greatly appreciated the partnership with our students, families and staff. We know this is a particularly challenging school year, and we cannot be the best Tahoma family possible without your help. This includes staying home when sick, continuing to follow the health and safety protocols that our local health officials require, and having continued conversations about how to best keep our students, staff and community safe.

On Monday, the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) released updated COVID-19 requirements for K-12 schools, which included the addition of “COVID-19 Symptom Decision Trees.” These documents provide guidance for families and school staff on what to do when a person is symptomatic at school, and for identifying and caring for close contacts at school.

The decision trees are similar to the return to school/work flow chart that our district used previously. The most significant change is that instead of requiring people with any symptom to quarantine, the decision trees now break down symptoms into two categories:

Category one: A person experiencing these symptoms should isolate at home AND get tested for COVID-19. They can return to school after providing a negative PCR test if they’ve had no fever within the past 24 hours (without medication) AND symptoms have significantly improved:
• Fever (>100.4°F) or chills
• Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
• Muscle or body aches
• New loss of taste or smell

Category two: A person experiencing these symptoms should isolate at home; however, they can return to school without a COVID-19 test if they only had ONE symptom, the symptom resolved within 24 hours, AND they were not a known close contact to someone who tested positive for COVID-19.
• Congestion or runny nose
• Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
• Cough (new, changed, or worsening)
• Headache
• Fatigue
• Sore throat

To see the COVID-19 Decision Trees, click here (Please note: TSD does not currently have a “Test-to-Stay” protocol in place, but we are working with Public Health – Seattle & King Co. to finalize the approval of a test-to-stay option).

We will continue to follow the guidance of our local health experts – as we have throughout the pandemic. Please email TSDMessages@TahomaSD.us if you have questions about how the Dept. of Health’s COVID-19 requirements are being implemented at TSD.

Thank you,
Tahoma School District COVID-19 Response Team
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