What is the COVID “Learn to Return” program in area schools?

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Have you heard of the Learn to Return program for Washington State students?

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In his press conference on Wednesday, Governor Inslee referred to a program called Learn to Return. Like many people, we didn’t know him.

As parents of a child in the Kennewick School District information was emailed in November and December but must have missed it.

In Kennewick, they call it the Test to Stay program. According to KSD:

The Kennewick School District offers a voluntary COVID-19 Test To Stay program in our schools that requires parental / legal guardian consent for students under the age of 18. The Test To Stay program is for non-symptomatic students who are identified as close contact from an individual at school or a school-related event who tests positive for COVID-19. Once the consent of the parent / legal guardian is submitted, it is valid for the entire school year.

Previously, non-symptomatic students identified as close contacts had to self-quarantine at home. The goal of the program is to allow students identified as close contacts to stay in school as long as they are symptom-free and COVID-19 negative.

According to the DOH, close contact is defined as anyone who has spent 15 minutes or more around a “sick” person in a 24-hour period within six feet of that person. For K-12, this distance margin is 3 feet.

According to KSD:

“The district is partnering with DOH’s Learn To Return (L2R) program, which removes barriers for students to accessing tests, and has been approved by the Benton-Franklin Health District to follow the Test To Stay protocol.”

It’s interesting we try to read all the emails we get from KSD and our daughter’s school (Highlands MS) they must have missed them. But our kid didn’t say anything about it, and before Inslee mentioned it, neither did we and most of our friends.

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