Make sure staff and families know where to find accurate information.
DOH updated guidance:
- Guidance to Prevent and Respond to COVID-19 in K-12 Schools and Child Cares.
- COVID-19 Information & Resources.
- Symptom Decision Tree for K-12 Schools.
- Access to Diagnostic Testing for COVID-19 (page 2).
- Ventilation guidance from CDC, state DOH and EPA.
COVID-19 Testing in Schools
Testing helps identify cases early and can limit the spread of COVID-19. Testing can be conducted at school or with over-the-counter tests at home.
- DOH information for testing in schools.
- K-12 exposure chart. Also available in Samoan, Spanish, Khmer, Korean, Russian, Tagalog, Ukrainian and Vietnamese.
- K-12 guidance for at-home testing flyer.
Everyone 6 months or older is eligible to get vaccine.
People 6 months or older can get Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. People 18 years or older can get Novavax vaccine.
Our data dashboard shows how many people who live or work in Pierce County got vaccine.
Parents who can’t be present for the vaccination of their child can print and sign this permission form.
COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit for Schools
Use our toolkit to promote COVID-19 vaccination and answer questions from families and students.
COVID-19 Testing Info for Kids Under 5
Rapid Antigen tests for children 2 and older when the sample is collected by an adult. Washington State Department of Health updated guidance allows guardians and caregivers of children under 2 years of age to perform an at-home COVID test.
PCR test for children 2 and older when sample is collected by an adult.
Communications with schools
- June 9—COVID-19 school update.
- April 25—COVID-19 school update.
- March 15—COVID-19 school update.
- Jan. 27—COVID-19 school update.
- View previous updates.
Helpful tools for childcare
Clean and Disinfect
Helpful tools for schools
- K-12 COVID-19 Requirements for 2022-2023 School Year.
- Preventing transmission of SARS-CoV-2 during aerosol generating and other procedures.
- Report a COVID-19 case in a school.
- Download our clean and disinfect in kitchen infographic, available in multiple languages: English | Spanish | Korean | Vietnamese | Tagalog | Russian | Simplified Chinese
- Disinfecting items for COVID-19.
- Contact Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department.
- Accepting over-the-counter tests.
- School outbreak letter.
- School outbreak letter (Spanish).
- Robocall script: Exposure from case or cases on school.
Resources and tools for families
Model and encourage healthy habits.
We can all take these steps to safeguard our health.
- A well-fitting mask is encouraged but not required.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water and for at least 20 seconds, or use hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes.
- Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces.
- Stay at home and away from others if you are sick.
- Get your COVID-19 vaccines and booster if you haven’t yet.
Help reduce anxiety about COVID-19.
Teach children how they can protect themselves against illness. Evidence suggests COVID-19 is generally mild in children. Those at risk for severe illness are over age 65, have health conditions or are pregnant.
- How to talk to your child about COVID-19—KidsHealth from Nemours Children’s Health System.
- Just for Kids: A Comic Exploring the New Coronavirus—National Public Radio.
- Helping Children and Youth Who Have Experienced Traumatic Events—Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
Help reduce stigma
Worry and misunderstanding can create fear and mistrust. Disease can affect anyone. Use these resources to help reduce COVID-19 stigma.
- Stigma reduction—Washington State Department of Health.
- It takes all of us to reduce stigma during disease outbreaks—Washington State Department of Health.
- Anti-stigma resources—Public Health – Seattle & King County.
School-basted testing pilot program results
Review and update your emergency operations plan.
Update your plan to include information about COVID-19. You don’t need to start from scratch—you can update your plan from 2009’s H1N1 pandemic.
These tools can help shape your plan.
- Guide for Developing High-Quality School Emergency Operations—FEMA.
- Colleges and Universities Pandemic Influenza Checklist—CDC.
- Interim Guidance for Administrators of United States Institutions of Higher Education—CDC.
- COVID-19 Guidance, Resources and School Closures—OSPI.
Schools and Childcare FAQs
What role or responsibility do schools have if a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19?
K-12 students who test positive should isolate at home regardless of vaccination status. Childcare providers are required to send sick people home. Staff are required to isolate if COVID positive. Read Washington State Department of Health’s Guidance to Prevent and Respond to COVID-19 in K-12 Schools and Child Cares for isolation recommendations in schools and child care facilities.
Childcare providers are required to send home or isolate children with illness. This includes fever, vomiting, diarrhea, or other symptoms listed in WAC 110-300-0205.
Washington State Legislature has required this since before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kids at daycare can easily spread common illnesses, such as:
- Common cold.
- Stomach bug.
- Hand, foot and mouth disease.
Turn to your local school district for updates.
- Tacoma Public Schools
- Fife Public Schools
- Puyallup School District
- Peninsula School District
- Sumner-Bonney Lake School District
- Bethel School District
- Carbonado School District
- Clover Park School District
- Dieringer School District
- Eatonville School District
- Franklin Pierce School District
- Orting School District
- Steilacoom Historical School District
- University Place School District
- White River School District