Isolation / Quarantine Guidance

Current as of 1/26/22

Please contact Kristin Bentler (kbentler@holyrosaryws.org or COVID@holyrosaryws.org) if anyone in your family tests positive so we can talk through your individual circumstances and how best to approach this within your family.  Close contacts who are not able to fully isolate from infected individuals may need to quarantine at this time, regardless of vaccination status, due to the highly infectious nature of the Omicron variant.  Our experience has been that repeated exposure at home, regardless of vaccination status, often leads to the infection of household members.  We are trying to make decisions that both maximize in person instruction and limit potential exposure within the classroom for students and teachers.   Testing supplies may limit our ability from time to time to utilize serial testing as a prevention strategy requiring additional quarantine time.   Thank you for your support as we all navigate this together!

The following is the current schools’ guidance, straight from Public Health of Seattle and King County. 

Isolation: Any student or staff member with COVID-19 should isolate at home. This isolation guidance applies regardless of vaccination status. If a student or staff member tests positive for SARS-CoV-2 by a molecular or antigen test, they can return to school when the following criteria are met:

  • 5 days* have passed since symptom onset, or since positive test specimen collection date if no symptoms are present (*note: people who are severely ill or severely immunocompromised may need to isolate for up to 20 days); AND
  • No symptoms are present, or symptoms are resolving; AND
  • No fever within the past 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medications.

Students and staff should continue monitoring for symptoms and wearing a well-fitting mask around others through day 10 (days 6-10) both in and out of school, including during extracurricular and sports activities.

Individuals who have been in isolation may test on day 5 of their isolation period, but only if the above criteria for completing isolation have been met. An antigen test is recommended. If the test result is positive, they must continue to isolate until day 10. If the test result is negative, they may return to school and should continue to wear a well-fitting mask around others at home and in public until day 10.

Individuals who have accommodations that allow them to attend school and not wear a well-fitting mask or face shield with a drape or wrap must stay in isolation the full 10 days.

Quarantine: Quarantine is when someone who has been exposed to COVID-19 stays home and away from others for the recommended period of time.

Who Does Not Need to Quarantine: Students and staff who come into close contact with someone with COVID-19 do not need to quarantine if they:

  • Are ages 18 or older and have received all recommended vaccine doses, including boosters and additional primary shots for some immunocompromised people.
  • Are ages 5-17 years and completed the primary series of COVID-19 vaccines.
  • Had confirmed COVID-19 within the last 90 days.

Who Must Quarantine: Students and staff who come into close contact with someone with COVID-19 should quarantine for at least 5 days (day 0 through day 5) after their last close contact* with a person who has COVID-19 if they are in one of the following groups:

  • Ages 18 or older and completed the primary series of recommended vaccine but have not received a recommended booster shot when eligible.
  • Those who have received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine (completing the primary series) over 2 months ago and have not received a recommended booster shot.
  • Those who are not vaccinated or have not completed a primary vaccine series.

*For household exposures this would be the last day the person with COVID-19 is considered infectious.

For close contacts who need to quarantine, there are three options:

  1. Test to Stay protocol*: Students and staff eligible for Test to Stay may attend school, school-related extracurricular activities, and school-aged child care during their quarantine period if they participate in serial testing.
  2. Quarantine at home with testing: Quarantine can end after 5 full days beginning after the last close contact (the date of last close contact is considered day 0) if no symptoms have developed and after receiving a negative test result from a test taken no sooner than day 5. Students and staff must wait to receive a negative test result from a test taken no sooner than day 5 post-exposure and provide the negative test documentation to the school before returning. Students and staff should continue monitoring for symptoms and wearing a well-fitting mask around others through day 10 (days 6-10) both in and out of school, including during extracurricular and sports activities
  3. Quarantine at home without testing:  If an individual or student chooses not to test or does not get tested, there are two options
    • 10-day Quarantine: Quarantine should last for 10 days after the last close contact. However, if any COVID-19 symptoms develop during the 10 days, the individual should isolate and get tested. In certain circumstances, a longer quarantine may be warranted:
    • 14-day Quarantine: Quarantine may be recommended for 14 days after the last close contact with the COVID-19 positive person. Monitor for symptoms during this time, and if any COVID-19 symptoms develop during the 14 days, get tested.

*Test to Stay protocol may be available at Holy Rosary School if we have sufficient testing supplies based on current case counts and exposures within the student body.  Please contact Kristin Bentler (kbentler@holyrosaryws.org) to discuss if this is an option.