COVID-19 Update: May 2022
Dear KSD Staff, Students, and Families,
As a follow-up to the March communication, we have been navigating this pandemic with flexibility and resourcefulness, and I commend our students, families, staff, and community for continuing to stay strong. As we look to finish the school year strong, at this time, there will be no changes to the current COVID-19 mitigation strategies.
As we continue monitoring COVID-19 data and mitigation strategies, there has been a rise in classroom closures and cases in King County and Kent School District (KSD). As of May 4, there has been an increase of 16 percent in cases in King County in the last seven days, according to the King County COVID-19 Summary Dashboard.
KSD will continue following health and safety mitigation strategies, including no assemblies and large in-person gatherings in schools. As the course of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to change, we will monitor state and county health and safety mitigation strategies and adjust if needed to align with public health guidance.
We will continue to assess the COVID-19 data and reevaluate at the end of May.
In addition, there will be alterations to the accommodations for our employees who have vaccination exemptions. This information will be sent to the impacted employees directly as soon as it is finalized.
To support the health of students and staff, we are continuing the mitigation strategies listed below:
- Masks are optional in most situations, but are still required in others, such as the health room and isolation room per department of health requirements.
- Individuals can wear a mask, if they choose to, anywhere.
- Those who are immunocompromised, medically fragile, and/or otherwise at high risk for severe disease should consult their health care provider about whether or not to continue wearing well-fitted masks.
- All individual mask-wearing decisions are to be respected.
- Masks will continue to be available in buildings and buses, including higher-level PPE for staff aligned with L&I guidance.
- Students and staff need to stay home when sick and report any positive test result to their school or supervisor.
- Students and staff with symptoms of COVID-19 are required to isolate and can return to school or care following the options within the guidance.
- Students and staff who test positive for COVID-19 must isolate for at least five days and can return to school or work on day six if symptoms have improved, or they are asymptomatic, and are without a fever for the past 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications and either wear a well-fitting mask or receive a negative antigen test.
- All staff will continue to maximize physical distancing, encourage frequent hand washing, and ensure daily cleaning and disinfecting are aligned to public health guidance.
- Contact tracers will continue to support all KSD schools, following updated guidance from DOH.
- If an outbreak or local surge of COVID occurs, public health may direct a classroom, school, or district to follow higher-level mitigation strategies.
- When a positive case is identified in the classroom or on a KSD sports team, families will be notified. Staff will continue to be notified of positive case exposure.
Additional Kent School District supplemental requirements, along with FAQs, are posted on the Kent School District website which includes information about assemblies, physical distancing, travel, etc.
There have been questions about a COVID-19 student vaccine as a requirement. We were recently notified the Washington State Board of Health has voted not to require a COVID-19 student vaccine for the next school year.
Thank you for your continued support and understanding as we finish the school year strong together.