Clinician Advisory: Students and Isolation-&-Quarantine Directives for COVID-19
- Follow prevailing guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and the Washington State Department of Health when counseling families and communicating with school officials about cases and contacts of COVID-19 among students.
- Advise students and their families that Health District and school system directives will prevail in the event of any conflict with clinicians’ guidance about prescribed duration of isolation or quarantine.
- Please support schools and the Health District in encouraging students, student athletes, and supervisors of other extracurricular activities to follow Health District isolation and quarantine directives.
- If you would like to discuss a particular case or contact, please call our health care provider line at (425) 339-3503.
- The Washington State Department of Health’s guidelines and framework that drives the Health District’s and schools’ direction to students and their families is set forth in the table above. Please reference it when counseling your student patients and their families.
- Schools are reporting to the Health District that
- close contacts are returning to school prior to completion of their quarantine upon advice from health care providers that “…with their negative test, they are free from quarantine guidelines…”; and
- some cases have been advised that they need to isolate “…only for 72 hours…” or that they “…might not need isolation at all…”
- If these were rare occurrences, we would not be bringing this to your attention. However, the reports are occurring with disturbing frequency and are disrupting the COVID-19 prevention strategy and operations in schools which are essential to a successful return to in-person learning.
- The Health District also has been experiencing difficulties in routinely securing cooperation with investigation-and-control efforts from participants in school athletics programs. Whenever feasible, emphasize the importance of compliance with affected student athletes, their families, and coaches.
- From March 26 through April 8, 33 school facilities reported one or more cases associated with their campus. In 5 (15%) of 33 settings, ≥2 cases occurred. In just 1 (3%) of 33 settings, >5 cases occurred. Student cases outnumber staff cases in an 2:1 ratio.
- During that same period, 10 cases and no outbreaks were reported in child care facilities. In those settings, the staff cases outnumber student cases in a 2:1 ratio.
Brief COVID-19 Status Update
Continue to encourage and support prevention efforts while we roll out the vaccine and try to bend the curve.
- Cases and hospitalizations are increasing again.
- A larger proportion of hospitalized cases are <60 years of age in recent weeks compared to the past.
- Through April 12, over 280K Snohomish County residents (33%) had initiated vaccination and 174K (21%) had completed vaccination.
- Being at least several months short of completion of the emergency vaccination effort, sustained efforts to prevent and control transmission are essential to forestalling a fourth wave amidst increasing circulation of more transmissible variants.