For over 14 months, school districts in Washington State have been required to exclude students from school who were identified as close contacts of someone who tested positive for COVID-19. This has resulted in many students missing valuable in-person classroom instruction and additional supports.
Our continued priority remains the health and safety of our staff and students, and, to the greatest extent possible, maximizing in-person learning.
We are excited to announce the Department of Health has approved KSD as a site to implement the Test to Stay program. This program has been launched to keep healthy students in school as much as safely possible. Kelso School District is working with the Deputy Health Officer, Cowlitz County Health & Human Services, and Health Commons and received approval and support.
Previously, unvaccinated students who were designated to be close contacts at school were required to quarantine at home for up to 14 days. This program will allow unvaccinated students who have been identified as close contacts at school to continue to learn in-person at school while monitoring for COVID-19 symptoms.
The Test to Stay protocol is detailed beginning on page 16 of the Supplemental Considerations to Mitigate COVID-19 Transmission in K-12 Schools. COVID-19 testing, combined with other disease prevention strategies, can help our schools detect new cases to prevent outbreaks, reduce the risk of further transmission, and protect students, teachers, and other staff from COVID-19.
Our systems are in place to begin Test to Stay as of today.
Click here for frequently asked questions and protocols.