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Public Health – Seattle & King County follows the guidance for schools and child care from the Washington Department of Health. School districts and child care facilities may choose to have students, teachers, and visitors wear masks even though the mask mandate is ending. Any individual who chooses to continue wearing a mask in school or childcare should be supported in their decision.

Key strategies for preventing and reducing transmission of COVID-19 in K-12 schools and child cares:

  • Stay up to date on vaccinations
  • Send individuals home when they are sick
  • Ensure access to COVID-19 testing
  • Monitor for symptoms, testing and wearing masks if potentially exposed to COVID-19
  • Notify groups or individuals of potential exposure
    • Schools and child care providers should have a process in place to inform students, children, staff and families when there are cases or outbreaks
  • Consider universal masking with high quality (N95, KN95, KF94), well-fitting masks during times of high transmission or when there is an outbreak
  • Consider having an indoor ventilation and filtration assessment completed by Public Health – Seattle & King County Environmental Health COVID-19 Recovery Ventilation & Indoor Air Quality Program. This is free non-regulatory technical assistance to help you improve your ventilation and indoor air quality.

Read more detailed information and recommendations for managing COVID-19 in schools and child care settings from the Washington state Department of Health.

Report COVID-19 cases to Public Health

Use the link above to report “new or unreported” cases or suspected outbreaks of COVID-19 in schools/childcares.

Reporting Requirements:

To report a positive case of COVID-19 in your school or program:

  • Complete a COVID-19 Intake Survey online (available in English and Spanish). Submit your initial report when you identify one or staff/children/youth who test positive for COVID-19.

Childcares: Washington state requires that childcare and early learning programs in King County need to report every case of COVID-19 within 24 hours to Public Health – Seattle & King County.

K-12 Schools: submit your initial report if your school identifies three or more staff, employees, or students in a specified core group who test positive for COVID-19 within a seven-day period.

Parents and guardians: if a child tests positive for COVID-19, please report the case to their school or child care program immediately. This helps to stop the virus from spreading, protect kids and staff, and keep facilities open.

People who use a rapid self-test and receive a positive result should call the Washington state COVID-19 hotline at 1‑800‑525‑0127, then press # (press 7 for Spanish), as soon as they receive results. The hotline is available Mondays from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Tuesday through Sunday (and observed holidays) 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Language assistance is available.

Guidance documents

Public Health – Seattle & King County follows the guidance for schools and child care from the Washington Department of Health.

For information on COVID-19 vaccination for children and youth, visit our COVID-19 vaccine page.

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