Contact Tracing Steps

Summary: Keep your student home and get them tested for COVID-19 when they have COVID-like symptoms for any duration. Learn about contact tracing.

Contact Tracing: Do Your Part to Keep Our Community Safe

COVID-19 Symptoms

Keep your student home and get them tested for COVID-19 when they have one or more COVID-like symptoms for any duration. If they do arrive at school feeling ill, they will be sent home. Learn more about symptoms of COVID-19.


Symptoms Without Close Contact with Someone with COVID-19

What to do if your student has a symptom or symptoms of COVID-19 but has not had close contact with someone with COVID-19.

Step 1: Keep your student home from school

When can my student return to school?

Negative COVID-19 Test Result

  • 24 hours after fever has resolved (without fever-reducing medication)
  • AND other symptoms have improved.
  • OR if alternative diagnosis by healthcare provider, follow provider directions and isolate per condition diagnosed (whichever isolation is longer).

Positive COVID-19 Test Result

See process for a positive COVID-19 test result.

Step 2: Notify your school

School staff will notify the SPS contact tracing team.

See positive COVID-19 test result process.

Step 3: Get a COVID-19 Test

Call your medical provider to be tested or go to a testing site. Visit the King County Public Health website for a list of free testing locations.

Your student’s teacher will post instructional plans on Schoology and SeeSaw each week. If you have questions about your child’s learning, please communicate directly with your student’s teachers.  

  • Posted plans will include assignments/homework, learning objectives, required activities, and assessments, with any associated due dates, and may also include links to resources. Teachers may also send additional communications such as emails and newsletters.  
  • Classroom teachers are expected to respond to all parent/guardian and student communications within two business days when possible.  
  • If your student has an IEP or 504, please consult with your IEP case manager and/or 504 coordinator for additional supports or accommodations during this time.  

If your child is required to quarantine, the absence will be excused.

The SPS contact tracing team will communicate directly with the family of the student with a suspected case via phone or email to discuss next steps. 

SPS does not share information about suspected cases of COVID-19 with the broader school community.


Positive COVID-19 Test Results

What to do if your student has a positive COVID-19 test result.

Confirmed COVID-19: a person (with or without symptoms) who received a positive result from a COVID-19 laboratory test.

Step 1: Keep your student home from school

When can my student return to school?

Has COVID-19 Symptoms

  • At least 10 days from when symptoms began
  • AND at least 24 hours after fever has resolved(without fever-reducing medication)
  • AND symptoms have improved.

Does NOT have COVID-19 Symptoms

Can return to school building after isolating for 10 days since the date of positive PCR COVID-19 test collection.

Step 2: Notify your school

School staff will notify the SPS contact tracing team.

The SPS contact tracing team will contact the family of the student with a positive COVID-19 test to collect information about the student (e.g. vaccination status or potential symptoms) and determine when the student can return to school (see step 1). 

SPS contact tracing team will begin investigation process to determine if there was potential exposure at school with any close contacts. 

Students identified as close contacts are notified. SPS also goes beyond state recommendations and notifies families when there is a positive case in their student’s classroom.

Step 3: Work with the SPS contact tracing team to determine next steps

The SPS contact tracing team will contact family of student directly via phone or email with confirmed COVID if the student is symptomatic or asymptomatic and determine when the student can return to school (see step 1). 

Your student’s teacher will post instructional plans on Schoology and SeeSaw each week. If you have questions about your child’s learning, please communicate directly with your student’s teachers.  

  • Posted plans will include assignments/homework, learning objectives, required activities, and assessments, with any associated due dates, and may also include links to resources. Teachers may also send additional communications such as emails and newsletters.  
  • Classroom teachers are expected to respond to all parent/guardian and student communications within two business days when possible.  
  • If your student has an IEP or 504, please consult with your IEP case manager and/or 504 coordinator for additional supports or accommodations during this time.  

If a full class or school needs to quarantine, students will shift to the 100% remote model used during the 2020-21 school year. Bell times will remain on the current schedule.  

If your child is required to quarantine, the absence will be excused.

The SPS contact tracing team will communicate directly with the family of the student with a confirmed case via phone or email to discuss next steps. 

Students identified as close contacts are notified by the SPS contact tracing team once the investigation is complete via email and phone call. See the close contact process for more info. 

SPS also goes beyond state requirements and notifies the entire classroom via email when there is a positive case that students may have been exposed to. 

SPS does not notify the full school community, except in rare cases, to protect student privacy. Families can view the COVID-19 dashboard to see cases in their school buildings.


Close Contact with Someone with COVID-19

What to do if your student is a close contact of someone with COVID-19 at school.

Students identified as close contacts are notified during the contact tracing investigation via email and phone call. 

Step 1: Work with the SPS contact tracing team to determine next steps

The SPS Contact Tracing Team will determine when your student can return to school based on symptoms and vaccination status, etc.

Has COVID-19 Symptoms

Can return to school after:

  • 14 days from the last day they had close contact with the person with COVID-19.

Please Note: Families should monitor for fever, cough, shortness of breath and other COVID-19 symptoms. 

Does NOT have COVID-19 Symptoms

Fully vaccinated: can return to school. Fully vaccinated people do not need to quarantine.

Students should get tested 3-5 days after exposure, watch for symptoms for 14 days, and wear a mask in public indoor settings for 14 days or until they receive a negative test result. 

Not vaccinated: can return to school after quarantine.

  • 14 days from the last day they had close contact with the person with COVID-19.

Step 2: Get a COVID-19 Test

Close contacts should get tested 3-5 days after exposure, watch for symptoms for 14 days, and wear a mask in public indoor settings for 14 days or until they receive a negative test result. If a close contact develops symptoms, they should be tested as soon as possible. 

Your student’s teacher will post instructional plans on Schoology and SeeSaw each week. If you have questions about your child’s learning, please communicate directly with your student’s teachers.  

  • Posted plans will include assignments/homework, learning objectives, required activities, and assessments, with any associated due dates, and may also include links to resources. Teachers may also send additional communications such as emails and newsletters.  
  • Classroom teachers are expected to respond to all parent/guardian and student communications within two business days when possible.  
  • If your student has an IEP or 504, please consult with your IEP case manager and/or 504 coordinator for additional supports or accommodations during this time.  

If a full class or school needs to quarantine, students will shift to the 100% remote model used during the 2020-21 school year. Bell times will remain on the current schedule.  

If your child is required to quarantine, the absence will be excused.

The SPS contact tracing team will communicate directly with the family of the student with a confirmed case viaphone or email to discuss next steps. 

Students identified as close contacts are notified by the SPS contact tracing team once the investigation iscomplete via email and phone call. 

SPS also goes beyond state requirements and notifies the entire classroom via email when there is a positive case that students may have been exposed to. 

SPS does not notify the full school community, except in rare cases, to protect student privacy. Families can view the COVID-19 dashboard to see cases in their school buildings.


Who is a Close Contact?

In general, a close contact is defined by: 

  • Been within 6 feet (2 meters) of a person confirmed to have COVID-19 for a combined total of 15 minutes or more within a 24-hour period. 
  • Live in the same household as a person with COVID-19
  • Cared for a person with COVID-19
  • Been in direct contact with saliva or other body secretions from a person with COVID-19 (for example: been coughed on, kissed, shared utensils, etc.) 

If a student in a K-12 indoor classroom…

In a classroom, the contact tracing team determines close contacts in partnership with school staff and consults with Public Health in response to several determining factors including: 

  • Students being less than three feet away from an infected student for a combined total of 15 minutes or more within a 24-hour period when the person with COVID-19 was infectious 
  • Students within 3 feet of distance to the infected individual were not consistently wearing face coverings/masks 
  • Vaccination status for students 12 years and older 
  • Other layered mitigation factors present (e.g. ventilation)

SPS will notify you if your student is a close contact.


Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

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