COVID-19 Update

COVID-19 Deconstructed Haiku

It is still here – ugh.

Mask, test, and stay home if symptoms.

Positive: stay home, tell us.

Case Numbers Update 

At St. John: The school continues to see positive COVID cases, although this week overall numbers have decreased. There was a cluster of cases in PreK, leading to additional recommendations provided specifically to that cohort (including mask-wearing through next week and serial rapid testing). Clusters of cases have continued in Grades 1 and 4, therefore masking requirements will continue in those grades. Masking requirements will be lifted, starting Monday, 5/23, in Grades 5, 7, and 8 as there have been no additional clusters this week. The school’s Covid Response Team continues to be in communication with an investigation team from Public Health – Seattle & King County (PHSKC). 

The school acknowledges at times we require students to wear masks and then return to a mask optional policy when appropriate. This practice is based on guidance from DOH and PHSKC in direct response to clusters of cases in a particular grade level or cohort. While the guidance may appear to vacillate, these strategies are necessary to limit disease transmission and keep our classrooms fully staffed and open. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we navigate clusters of cases at school. 

The Covid Response Team continues to track positive cases and communicate with families of positive students. It appears many of the positive cases have occurred through community or household spread (parents/siblings, weekend gatherings, events outside of school) rather than classroom spread. The school remains committed to our mitigation strategies. Data on cases, broken down by grade-level and homeroom, is available here.   

COVID Weekly Data Dashboard (5/12-5/19)  

  • Students Tested Positive (grades preK-8): 21* 
  • Staff (School and XDC) Tested Positive: 1 

*COVID-19 is still here in our community. We are providing these numbers as a reminder to our community to stay strong with your mitigation measures. Please continue to use easily accessible prevention measures! Keep testing your students and families – we have an abundant supply of rapid tests available in the main office. Please see updated information below on timing of rapid tests when symptoms present. Continue to monitor students for symptoms (and keep students home who are ill) and mask as appropriate to limit spread and lower our individual and community risk.  

In King County: King County continues to be in the “Medium Transmission” level (over 200 new cases per 100,000 people over a 7-day period), and case rates continue to increase. As of 5/18/22, case rates were 346/100k (compared to 311/100k the previous week).   

A Note on Timing of Rapid Testing 

We want to mention a recent article in The Seattle Times with information about interpreting the results of rapid testing depending on the timing of the test and when symptoms begin.  

A few highlights: 

  • It is still recommended to rapid test as soon as symptoms present. However, a negative rapid test result at the onset of symptoms does not guarantee a person does not have Covid
  • Often people do not get a positive result until 3-5 days after symptoms start (when the viral load is high enough to be detected on a rapid test), so serial rapid testing over several days is recommended. 
  • A PCR test may show a positive result sooner than a rapid test because PCR tests are more sensitive and detect lower viral loads. 
  • Bottom line: Continue to utilize rapid tests as they are a valuable tool and consider the timing of the test when interpreting the results.

Thank you for your continued commitment to the health and safety of our St. John community! Please reach out to the Covid Response Team with questions or for more information.