Q: What happens if my child tests positive for COVID-19?

They must isolate regardless of vaccination status. Individuals can end isolation after 5 full days since the onset of symptoms if they are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication and their other symptoms have improved. Day 0 is the day symptoms began or the day the person took a test that had a positive result. Day 1 is the day after symptoms began or, if a person does not have symptoms, the day after the person tested positive (use the date the test was collected). If they continue to have fever or their other symptoms have not improved after 5 days of isolation, they should stay in isolation until they are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication and their other symptoms have improved. Individuals should continue to wear a well-fitting mask around others at home and in public places for an additional 5 days (day 6 through day 10) after the end of their 5-day isolation.

Q: What if my child is in a class with a student who tests positive for COVID-19?

A: If the child who tested positive and your child were at least three feet apart and both wearing face coverings consistently and correctly, your child would not need to quarantine. If the child who tested positive was masked, any unmasked elementary students and unmasked middle/high school students seated around (in front of, behind and adjacent to) the infected students must quarantine. If the child who tested positive was unmasked, every elementary student and every middle/high school student around (in front of, behind and adjacent to) the infected student must quarantine.


Q: What if my child is fully vaccinated against COVID-19?

A: Once you provide proof of vaccination your student would not be required to quarantine unless they are symptomatic or test positive.

Q: Why aren't vaccinated staff/students who were exposed to a COVID-19-positive case required to quarantine?

A: Actually, vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals alike are required to quarantine if they are symptomatic. Vaccinated individuals who are not showing symptoms, however, are not required to quarantine. According to the Oregon Health Authority, COVID-19 vaccines have been shown to prevent symptomatic infection and its complications. It is not a live virus vaccine, so a person that has been vaccinated cannot transmit the virus as a result of their getting the vaccine. However, since the first dose does not provide full immunity to infection, and there is COVID-19 circulating in the community, someone who has only received their first dose can still get infected and spread to others. Also, vaccines are not 100% effective at preventing disease, so there is still a small risk of infection. Early data show the vaccines do help prevent asymptomatic individuals from spreading COVID-19.

Q: What if my child previously tested positive for COVID-19?

A: Once a student tests positive for COVID-19 and the result has been reported to the county, following the initial quarantine they will not be required to quarantine again for 90 days (that time span begins on the day the initial positive test was recorded).

Q: Is it true that the COVID-19 testing swabs are dipped in ethylene oxide and, if so, is that safe?

A: The cotton swabs used for COVID-19 testing aren't dipped in ethylene oxide; rather, they're sterilized through exposure to ethylene oxide gas. Furthermore, concerns about cancer risks associated with ethylene oxide coming into contact with mucous membranes via COVID-19 test swabs are unfounded according to the Food and Drug Administration. Ethylene oxide has been used for decades and is considered by the FDA to be the only effective sterilizing method that doesn't damage the object being sterilized. It is also used in a variety of industrial applications and everyday consumer products such as laundry detergent and shampoos. The process for sterilizing COVID-19 swabs is highly regulated and completely safe. There is no residual trace of ethylene oxide on the nasal swab when it is packaged. Here's more on the subject from the Washington State Department of Health. 

Q: Are eligible students expected to comply with the vaccination requirement for teachers and school staff mandated by Oregon Administrative Rule 333-019-1030?

A: Students who are not volunteers or employees of schools or school-based programs are not required to obtain a COVID-19 vaccination under this rule. The Oregon Health Authority strongly recommends that students who are eligible to receive a vaccine talk to their trusted adults about getting vaccinated.

Q: What is the purpose of the quarantine?

A: Quarantines are intended to reduce the risk that infected persons might unknowingly transmit infection to others. They also ensure that persons who become symptomatic or are otherwise diagnosed during quarantine can be rapidly brought to care and evaluated.

Q: How will my child stay caught up in school during quarantine?

A: Their teacher will stay in contact and hand out and accept assignments and tests through the remote learning infrastructure (Google Classroom) we all became very familiar with last school year. In addition, the Oregon Department of Education has also developed a resource for families to plan the supports you or your child might need should your child need to miss school.

Q: Why is my child required to wear a mask at school?

A: On August 2, 2021, the OHA adopted a rule requiring face coverings in all K-12 indoor school settings (OAR 333-019-1015). This rule applies to public, private, parochial, charter, youth corrections education programs (YCEP) and juvenile detention education programs (JDEP) or alternative educational programs offering kindergarten through grade 12 or any part thereof. The rule requires all individuals 5 years of age and older to wear a face-covering while indoors in a K-12 school, during school hours. Certain accommodations for medical needs or disabilities may be necessary. Children under 5 who are learning in preschool classrooms that operate in school settings are not required to wear face coverings. In any early learning program serving 0 to 5-year-olds, students are not required to wear a face covering.

Q: What happens if the district refuses to implement the rule or I refuse to allow my student to wear a mask?

A: The Oregon Department of Education formally notified superintendents across the state of enforcement measures for school districts that do not comply with the requirements. A district or school that violates the rule will face significant monetary fines. OHA and ODE will refer complaints to OSHA for investigation. Willful negligence fines for a district would amount to more than $100,000. Not following the mandate would also result in the district losing its liability coverage, and educators who intentionally disregard the rule could lose their teaching/administrative licenses. All of these violations would dramatically impact our ability to provide quality in-person instruction to students.

Q: What if I don't want my student to wear a mask?

A: If a family refuses to allow their child to wear a mask or a student refuses to wear a mask appropriately after warnings we will work with them to investigate different options for their child’s education, such as our new online school, Phoenix-Talent Rising Academy. Accommodations will be provided for students with documented medical needs; families may contact the school office for the medical mask exception form.

Q: Why are masks so important?

A: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention face coverings are effective at preventing the spread of COVID-19 and can reduce the need to be quarantined and miss in-person learning. With the Delta variant circulating in our communities, it’s smart to also mask up in private when you’re with people from different households. And, if you and your child participate in carpools with other families, it’s safest for all to wear face coverings and roll the windows down for good air circulation.

Q: What else can I do to help stop the spread of COVID-19?

A: Parents and guardians are expected to check their children for COVID-19 symptoms each day before leaving for school or the school bus. Please do not send your child to school, or any school activity, with any of the following symptoms: cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, sore throat, loss of taste or smell, muscle pain and fever.