Letter about COVID-19 Testing
2021/2022 School Year
Dear Seattle Public Schools’ Student-Athlete:
To maintain the health and safety of our athletes, the Washington State Department of Health developed additional protocols beyond masking and social distancing, which will allow a basketball, cheer, boys swim/dive, and wrestling season to take place this school year. In order to compete, all unvaccinated athletes must engage in twice-weekly COVID-19 testing as outlined in the safety guidance developed by the Governor’s Office and Department of Health.
To support athletes, their families, and our community, Seattle Public Schools’ basketball, cheer, boys swim/dive, and wrestling teams will offer free rapid antigen testing to our athletes. Implementing these COVID-19 tests aim to provide an extra measure of safety during practice and contests for indoor sports.
Testing will occur twice a week, including the day prior to a contest. The test is a self-collected nasal swab, which the individual inserts less than one inch into the nostril. Individuals will receive results from the test in 15 minutes. Designated district staff are trained to observe the specimen collection and conduct the result reading.
Anyone who tests positive will be sent home immediately to isolate. Unvaccinated athletes deemed to be in close contact will need to quarantine per directions from district Health Services team, even if they recently had a negative test. Fully vaccinated athletes, coaches, athletic trainers, and other support personnel identified as close contacts will need to be tested 3-5 days following a known exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 and wear a mask for 14 days or until they receive a negative test result.
Fully vaccinated athletes and staff do not have to participate in COVID-19 screening testing. A person is considered fully vaccinated 2 weeks after their final dose (e.g., 2 weeks after second dose of Pfizer or Moderna, 2 weeks after single dose of Johnson & Johnson). Please provide proof of vaccination to your school’s athletic coordinator. Failure to submit will default athletes into the testing protocols for unvaccinated athletes.
Unvaccinated athletes can choose not to participate in COVID-19 screening testing. However, without participating in testing, the athlete will not be able to practice or compete in contests. Please contact your Athletic Director if you do not wish to participate in COVID-19 testing.
The health and safety of our athletes, their families, and our entire community is important to us. We hope this COVID-19 rapid testing as one extra layer of safety.