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The Kittitas School District was notified by the Kittitas County Health Department of an outbreak of COVID-19 among school district faculty, staff, and students on Friday, according to a news release from the health department.

As of Sept. 10, there were 18 cases of COVID-19 within the district. Recommendations and corrective actions were sent to KSD.

The plan to address the spread of COVID-19 within the district is as follows:

1. KSD will support and enforce the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction’s school mask mandate in K-12 schools starting Monday.

2. Faculty, staff, and students who were unmasked on Thursday, Sept. 9 and/or Friday, Sept. 10 are considered exposed and have three options for quarantine and testing to return to school:

n Quarantine as a close contact for 14 days from Sept. 10. This would allow them to return to school Sept. 27.

n Quarantine for 7 days with a test to return Sept. 17. This would allow them to return to school Sept. 17.

n Test twice this next week on Monday, Sept. 13 and Thursday, Sept. 16 as part of KCPHD test to stay protocol. These students would be allowed to stay in school.

3. KCPHD will support training for case and contact investigation for KSD

4. KCPHD will continue to supply support to KSD throughout the school year

The reason for these safety protocols is due to the increased spread of COVID-19 within KSD and the inability to do case and contact investigation due to the inconsistencies of mask wearing.

KCPHD and KSD are committed to developing safety policies to help limit COVID-19 related interruptions in schools. KCPHD and KSD will continue to work closely together to ensure that faculty, staff, and students may continue to attend in-person school safely.

Prior to the start of the school year, Kittitas School District officials had announced their intention to acknowledge the mask mandate but to not police enforcement.

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