Updated August 9, 2022
Per the Archdiocese of Seattle, HFK is required to follow the Washington State Department of Health guidelines in order to mitigate COVID-19 transmission at school.
As we begin a new school year at HFK, we continue to have the following same safety protocols in place:
- Good ventilation: MERV 13 filters in HVAC system, windows open (not doors) as much as possible, and portable HEPA air cleaners in all classrooms.
- Focus on handwashing and respiratory etiquette: proper handwashing, coughing or sneezing into elbow, and throwing away used tissues in the trash.
- High-touch surfaces are cleaned at least once a day with soap and water.
- Maintain awareness of community transmission levels and coordinate with the Archdiocese and local public health to inform our mitigation response.
- Preventing exposure to COVID-19 is the first line of defense against transmission. Parents will check students every day, before coming to school, for symptoms of COVID-19 (see below). Students and staff who have symptoms of COVID-19 are required to stay home and get tested.
- If a student or staff member develops symptoms of COVID-19 at school, they will be immediately isolated from others, sent home, and referred to diagnostic testing as soon as possible. While waiting to leave the school or child care, the individual with symptoms will be isolated and wear a well-fitting face mask.
- In the event of an exposure at school, parents will be notified via email from the principal.
- Students are not required to be vaccinated to attend school, but employees and volunteers in educational settings must be fully vaccinated, per the Archdiocese and Governor’s proclamation 21-4.3, unless an exemption is granted.
- Wearing a mask as a precaution at school continues to be optional. We will respect all students and adults who choose to wear a mask. A mask is required following testing positive for COVID-19 or being exposed to someone who has tested positive (see below for more information).
Symptoms of COVID-19
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
An individual who tests positive for COVID-19 with a viral test (Molecular (PCR/NAAT) or antigen, including self-tests) is required to follow isolation guidelines outlined below.
A student or staff who tests positive for COVID-19 is required to isolate at home or where they are currently residing, regardless of vaccination status. The individual may return after 5 full days of isolation if they are asymptomatic or their symptoms have improved and they have had no fever for the past 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications.
Day 0 is the first day of symptoms. For people without symptoms, day 0 is the day of the positive viral test. See Isolation and Quarantine Calculator.
Individuals will continue to wear a well-fitting mask for an additional 5 days (day 6 through day 10) if they return to school after the end of their 5-day isolation period. If an individual is unable to wear a well-fitting mask, they will continue to isolate for a full 10 days.
DOH no longer requires exposed students and staff to quarantine. Students and staff, regardless of vaccination status, who are exposed to COVID-19 will:
- Monitor for symptoms, AND
- Test* as soon as possible after exposure and then repeat testing every 24-48 hours through at least the first 5 days after exposure AND
- Students, children, and staff who spend time indoors with individuals at risk for getting very sick with COVID-19 should wear a well-fitting mask for 10 days after exposure.
Exposed students and staff may continue to take part in all in-person instruction and care, including sports, performing arts, and other extracurricular activities, as long as they do not have symptoms or test positive and wear a mask. If an exposed student or staff member develops symptoms, they must test and are required to immediately isolate at home.
*Individuals who have been recently infected (within the past 90 days), should use an antigen test, as PCR results may remain persistently positive even if there is not a new, active infection.
Household exposures often result in prolonged and repeated contact with positive individuals. A student or staff member, who is continuously exposed at home, regardless of vaccination status, is asked to test every 24-48 hours until 5 days after the last positive household member’s isolation has ended. Testing allows people to take precautions, like isolation, in a timely manner to stop the virus from spreading.
HFK is part of DOH’s Learn to Return testing program. We have access to the following COVID-19 tests:
- iHealth Rapid Antigen Tests
- Everlywell PCR Tests
Contact Susan Webster at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about what to do.