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1/12/22: Updated guidance on COVID communication and staffing plan

January 12, 2022

Good afternoon NTPS staff and families:

We just received the most recent updated isolation, quarantine, and testing guidance this afternoon (Thursday, January 12) from Thurston County Public Health’s School Communication Plan and wanted to share with you right away as we know there have been a lot of questions.

This new guidance is based on the latest K-12 COVID-19 requirements from Washington State Department of Health and reflects guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) which may continue to evolve.

Some of the highlights include:

  • Test to Stay is now inclusive of all asymptomatic staff and students, regardless of where exposure occurred (home, school, community). Note: Test to Stay is not an option during an outbreak.
  • Isolation for a positive test is reduced to 5 days at home from symptom onset or positive test if symptoms resolve and there is no fever for 24 hours prior to return.
  • No quarantine for exposure needed for someone who is asymptomatic and:
    • Ages 18+ up to date with vaccines (primary series and boosters);
    • Ages 5–17 completed primary series of vaccines; or
    • Had confirmed COVID-19 in the last 90 days and recovered.

Please remember:

  • Do NOT come to the school for testing if you already have symptoms. Here is a link to community testing sites. Our nurses and health room staff are extremely busy testing close contacts and staff/students on site.
  • Fill out the revised parent consent form for COVID-19 testing in SKYWARD so that we can test your student at school if we discover they are a close contact or have symptoms.

Additionally, our staff is working extremely hard to continue providing activities and athletic opportunities for our students. To help this continue safely, we want to remind everyone attending any indoor events or activities to please follow the requirements below or you will be asked to leave the event:  

  • Fitted masks must be always worn, covering your mouth and nose.
  • No food or drink is allowed. 
  • Maintain distance from other families or households.

Classroom Closure

 A classroom closure is required by Thurston County Public Health when an outbreak has been documented. It is defined as three or more students or staff members who have tested positive for COVID-19, who are linked through a shared location, like a classroom or school bus, and did not have significant contact outside of school grounds. When a classroom is closed, remote instruction is provided to students and the closure and reopening plans will be communicated to those directly impacted.


Due to the Omicron variant surge, the district is closely monitoring daily absence levels of staff and has developed a plan to support our schools. This plan includes providing substitutes, having schools cover unfilled certified teacher staffing, and reassigning district instructional specialists and district administrators to cover unfilled positions.

Again, we know this new surge in COVID-19 cases in our community greatly impacts everyone. We are doing everything we can to provide safe, in-person learning following the latest public health guidance. Please refer to our COVID FAQ webpage for the latest updates, as well as links to testing and vaccination sites.

We thank you for your patience, cooperation, and support during this difficult time.

-NTPS Community Relations