David Douglas District Families,
We want to wish all of our families a restorative and celebratory Winter Break filled with friends, family, peace and relaxation. This school year continues to be challenging for all of us, and we hope that you are able to take some time to simply recoup.
We also want to share with you some changes to our COVID-19 procedures that will be implemented after we return from Winter Break.
We are currently planning for a new testing program that changes the quarantine requirements. These changes require a partnership with our county health department as well as many updates to the current process. Our hope is that soon after we return, the David Douglas School District will be able to implement this new COVID-19 testing program that will allow certain unvaccinated, exposed students and staff to remain in school or shorten a quarantine period rather than go into quarantine for as many as 10 days.
This program takes advantage of increased COVID testing to maximize in-person learning and keep both students and staff in school. There will also be an adjustment to the current mask requirements.
We will share additional details, especially about when these changes will be implemented, immediately following Winter Break. But in general, here is what to expect:
The test to stay protocol is a form of modified quarantine which allows asymptomatic, unvaccinated students and staff exposed to a COVID-19 case in a school setting to continue to attend school if they remain symptom free and test negative first upon exposure and again at 5-7 days after exposure. In these cases, individuals would not have to quarantine.
In a Test-to-Return program, unvaccinated, asymptomatic individuals who are exposed to COVID-19 somewhere other than at school can be tested for COVID-19 Between 5-7 days after exposure. If that individual still does not have symptoms and the test comes back negative, they may return to school on day 8 of quarantine, which will shorten the amount of required quarantine time.
Vaccination remains the most effective way to keep students and staff safe from COVID-19, and we urge all who are eligible to be vaccinated and receive a booster. The Test-to-Stay and Test-to-Return models are supported by the Oregon Department of Education.
Mask Mandate Lifted Outdoors
The additional change coming is that masks will no longer be required while students and staff are outside. This change begins on Monday, Jan. 3. Obviously, anyone who chooses to continue wearing masks outdoors for enhanced safety are welcome to do so. Masks and social distancing will still be required indoors for all.
Again, thank you to all of our students and families for continuing to work with our staff to keep everyone safe during these challenging times. You are all much appreciated. Have a wonderful Winter Break everyone!