Updates to the Ready Schools, Safe Learners documents; iHealth rapid test kit shipments from OHA; Update on Omicron surge across Oregon

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Oregon Department of Education - Oregon achieves - together

To: Superintendents, Private School Leaders, Charter School Leaders, School Nurses, Reopening Advisors
From: Kati Moseley, Ready Schools, Safe Learners Resiliency Manager
Date: January 27, 2022
RE: Updates to the Ready Schools, Safe Learners documents; iHealth rapid test kit shipments from OHA; Update on Omicron surge across Oregon


Dear School and District Leaders,

We thank you for your patience as we have worked with our OHA partners to revise materials and resources for school staff. With rapid changes we understand the attention it takes to keep protocols and practices up to date and appreciate your contributions to keeping our schools open and our communities safe.

I am writing to share revisions to the Ready Schools, Safe Learners Resiliency Framework, the Planning for COVID-19 Scenarios in Schools document, Quarantine and Isolation Guidelines for K-12 Students, Communicable Disease Guidance for Schools, as well as the Exclusion Summary Guide.

ODE has updated these documents to align with the CDC and OHA updates to health and safety protocols for schools. These updates are:

  • Adoption of a 5-day quarantine and isolation standard
  • Inclusion of the “up to date” status definition of COVID-19 vaccination
  • Revisions to the test to stay protocol to align with 5-day quarantine and remove the need to report negative test results through the OHA reporting portal
  • Adoption of an updated K-12 COVID-19 exposure definition

Testing supplies arriving to schools soon

This week, Oregon schools that ordered the newly available at-home iHealth COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Tests should expect their orders to arrive.

As a reminder, schools may only use these tests to implement test to stay. Schools may not distribute these tests to students or staff without symptoms or a known exposure to COVID-19 and these tests may not be used for screening purposes.

Schools may offer both at-school and at-home test to stay options and may enroll in self-testing here. The ordering form for the iHealth self-tests for school districts is available here.

Update on the Omicron surge across Oregon

While some Oregon communities have hopes that Omicron is receding, other parts of Oregon  see Omicron cases increasing. ODE is in constant conversation with the Oregon Health Authority on the practices and protocols needed in order to keep kids in school safely. Layered mitigation measures remain the best course of action to reduce the chances of spreading any variant of COVID-19, including vaccinations and boosters for everyone over the age of five. All of these layers are critical tools in limiting the spread of COVID-19 while providing equitable education.

Decisions about when or how schools respond to an outbreak of COVID-19 are local and involve collaboration across multiple actors. ODE offers districts and school leaders a variety of supports for continuity of services. Another resource  to inform decision-making at the local level is the Oregon Data for Decisions Dashboard.

Again, thank you for your determination and resolve on behalf of Oregon youth. If you have any questions about this update, please contact the ODE COVID-19 inbox at ODECOVID19@ode.state.or.us. Thank you!