Masking Guidance Updates for our Riverview Community (Effective March 12, 2022)


Following the recent announcement from Governor Inslee that the state’s mask mandate will be lifted, and mask wearing will be optional* in K-12 school settings effective March 12, 2022, the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) released guidance on March 8, 2022, to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 transmission in schools, child care, early learning, youth development, and day camp programs. Public Health – Seattle King County (PHSKC) decided on March 10, 2022, to “flow through” with the requirements and recommendations from DOH.

* - Changing conditions, such as reporting/exhibiting symptoms at school or confirmed outbreaks in classrooms or on teams may temporarily require students and staff to wear masks.

To read the new DOH guidance, please click below: “Requirements and Guidance to Mitigate COVID-19 Transmission in K-12 Schools…”

Specifically, beginning March 12, mask wearing in both indoor and outdoor settings will be an individual choice for staff, students, and families throughout the Riverview School District. The Riverview School District will support all students and staff members who choose to continue to wear masks in our schools and during the school and workday. Likewise, we will support those staff and students who choose to not wear masks. Masks are still required for staff, and all volunteers, who have a medical or religious exemption.

As this pandemic becomes increasingly treated as an endemic, it is important to reiterate that the COVID-19 pandemic is not over. Any individuals experiencing signs of illness are strongly recommended to remain home. Schools are required to continue to adhere to mitigation requirements based on DOH guidance. Some of the previous DOH requirements will now become recommendations. Additionally, Riverview will continue to provide updated district COVID-19 case counts through the Engage – RSD 407 website.


The following provides a summary of the DOH guidance, while also indicating what this means for Riverview School District, effective March 14, 2022, and moving forward.


REQUIREMENTS

Employee COVID-19 Vaccination


All employees in educational settings are required to be fully vaccinated or have a medical or religious exemption.

Exclusion of People with Symptoms of COVID-19


Students and staff with symptoms of COVID-19 are required to stay home, get tested or see a health care provider.

At-home Isolation Protocol and Returning to School

Students and staff who test positive for COVID-19 must isolate for five days and should wear a well-fitting mask or receive a negative test if they return between days 6-10. People who do not wear a mask or receive a negative test can return after day 10. Isolation of COVID-19 Cases Within a Facility Students and staff who exhibit symptoms of COVID-19 at school must be immediately isolated away from others, sent home, and provide options for diagnostic testing as soon as possible regardless of vaccination status. K-12 schools are required to ensure access to timely diagnostic testing for students and staff with symptoms or who were potentially exposed and want to test. While waiting to leave the school, the symptomatic staff or student must wear a well-fitting mask. Anyone providing care to the isolated individual should be wearing appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Masks are required by all children, staff, and visitors aged 2 years and older in the nurse/health room and in the isolation room, as these are considered health care settings. The designated isolation space for individuals with COVID-19-like symptoms is required to be separated from the space used for those requiring first aid or medicine distribution.


PPE Availability

Riverview School District will continue to provide masks and appropriate PPE to staff and students, as needed or required.

Notifying Groups or Individuals of Potential Exposure

Staff are required to be notified of exposure. Schools are required to notify students identified as immunocompromised, medically fragile, or otherwise at high risk for severe COVID-19 of potential exposure. Schools are required to have a process for informing staff, students, and families when there are cases or outbreaks in the school.

Reporting COVID-19 Cases and Working with Public Health Schools are required to report all cases/outbreaks of COVID-19 to Local Health Jurisdictions (LHJs)/DOH. The Director of Student Services will report COVID-19 test results to DOH per the March 7, 2022, guidance. Responding to Clusters and Outbreaks In coordination with PHSKC, enhanced mitigation efforts may be required to prevent disease transmission.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDATIONS FROM DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH

Specific to Riverview School District, the following mitigation strategies are recommended to help slow or stop the spread of COVID-19 in our schools.

Vaccination


All school district employees in the educational settings must be fully vaccinated or have a medical or religious exemption, per Governor’s Proclamation 21-14.3.

Test-to-Stay Program


COVID testing at the district will continue and include all staff and students exposed, or those who are symptomatic. Testing is available at the district office, Monday through Friday, on student days from 7:00 – 8:00 a.m. and from 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. Contact tracing updates will also be available the week of March 14.

Ventilation


Riverview School District will be following the Department of Health guidance, dated March 7, 2022. See current DOH Ventilation Guidance for more information.

Physical Distancing


Riverview School District will be following the Department of Health guidance, dated March 7, 2022.

Specifically, the district will take appropriate steps to maximize the distance between students to the degree possible, and especially in the following circumstances:

  • When in the cafeteria.

  • In common areas outside of the classroom.

  • Activities defined as high-risk, including, but not limited to, P.E., exercising indoors, singing or playing instruments, cheering or shouting. These activities should be moved outdoors or to large, well-ventilated spaces whenever possible.

Travel


Riverview School District asks our community to please follow existing U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance, updated January 27, 2022.

Transportation


Riverview School District will be following the DOH guidance, dated March 7, 2022.

Handwashing, Respiratory Etiquette, Cleaning and Disinfection


Riverview School District will be following the DOH guidance, dated March 7, 2022.

Performing Arts


Riverview School District will be assisting and working in partnership with building principals and staff to make determinations on appropriate practice and performance protocols, including masking.

Athletics


Additional guidance from PHSKC and the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) is expected in the coming weeks.

Throughout the pandemic, Riverview’s commitment to the health and safety of students, staff, and families has been its highest priority. We thank all of you for your continued support. We will provide updates to the community as additional guidance is made available.