The Department of Health Services sent this reminder in part to school administrators, school nurses and public health officers on November 7, 2022. Public health officials expect that COVID-19 cases will increase – along with other respiratory viruses such as respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), influenza and rhino/enterovirus, all of which have very similar symptoms to COVID-19.
It’s important for schools and other facilities to have a plan to address outbreaks of respiratory viruses, including COVID-19. Along with definition of outbreak these steps to take were included in the messaging.
Steps to take after an outbreak
Both suspected and confirmed outbreaks of COVID-19 in all schools must be reported to the local or tribal health department by law as soon as they are recognized.
Test symptomatic people, and close contacts of those who have tested positive for COVID-19.
- Encourage those who are not feeling well to stay home until symptoms subside.
- Consider use of at-home tests as part of your outbreak testing plan.
- Consider enrolling in the K-12 COVID-19 Testing Program in advance of any outbreaks.
- Time from enrollment to on-site, vendor-supported testing is typically three to four weeks.