COVID-19 Response Protocol

COVID-19 Response Protocol


The following is information about our process for communicating about cases of COVID-19 at schools in our district. This plan was developed collaboratively with Thurston County Public Health and Social Services (PHSS) to create consistency, protect privacy and prioritize student and staff safety.


Confirmed Case

If a student tests positive for COVID-19, PHSS and our district will share the information about the diagnosis with one another. Medical information will only be shared between PHSS and the school nurse OR identified school contact to protect the individual’s privacy. Our district and schools will not share the names of individuals who have been diagnosed with COVID-19.


The school nurse OR identified school contact will work with PHSS to provide the information they need to conduct contact tracing. This investigation will help them determine who was in close contact with this person.


  • Close contact definition in K-12 classroom: Students who were wearing a face covering and were within 3 feet of another student with COVID-19 for at least 15 minutes over 24 hours during an individual's infectious period.
  • Close contact definition anywhere else at school and between students and adults: Someone within 6 feet of a person with COVID-19 for at least 15 minutes over 24 hours during an individual's infectious period.


PHSS or our district will contact those who are considered close contacts and provide next steps. Our district will also contact families whose students were within 6 feet of a confirmed COVID-19 case in a classroom. PHSS strongly recommends COVID-19 testing three to five days after exposure for students who were within 6 feet of a confirmed COVID-19 case. If you do not receive a phone call, no further action is needed. Your child may continue with in-person instruction. Because PHSS will contact those who are affected — and to protect individual privacy — our school district will not contact families about a single confirmed COVID-19 case.



Quarantine is when someone who has been exposed to COVID-19 stays home and away from others for the recommended period of time in case they were infected and are contagious. Your child may be exempt from quarantine if they are fully vaccinated and do not have symptoms. They should be tested 3 to 5 days following a known exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.



Our custodial staff will thoroughly clean and sanitize the affected area based on COVID-19 exposure cleaning protocols. Please remind your child of the following health tips:


  • Do not come to school when you are sick.
  • Practice physical distancing.
  • Wear a face covering over your nose and mouth.
  • Clean your hands often. Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use a school-approved hand sanitizer. Do not touch your face with unwashed hands.


Confirmed Outbreak

Washington State Department of Health defines an “outbreak” 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, do not share a household, and did not have significant contact outside of the school grounds.

If PHSS notifies us of a COVID-19 outbreak, our school district will contact only the families of students from the affected shared location when the outbreak results in the suspension of the activity. PHSS may require us to suspend in-person instruction or another activity for students in this specific shared location.



We understand this news can be unsettling and that you will have many questions. PHSS has additional COVID-19 information on its website. Olympia School District protocols are also outlined in the OSD COVID-19 Pandemic Return to Work Safety Plan. Our priority is to protect the health and safety of our students and staff, including your child.