Nurses » Student Exclusions for Disease Outbreaks

Student Exclusions for Disease Outbreaks

Spokane Regional Health District (SRHD) has identified a measles case in Deer Park, within Spokane County (March 2024). There are also active measles outbreak investigations being conducted in Clark and Wahkiakum Counties.

As measles is highly contagious, an outbreak in the CVSD community may necessitate exclusion from on-site school participation for those students who do not have evidence of immunity* for their safety and the safety of all students and staff. If you received a link to this page via email from CVSD, your student is currently considered a part of this group. 


NOTE: No CVSD school is currently under exclusion orders; this information is to advise what will happen if we have any measles cases in our buildings.


The SRHD Information for Parents below provides additional details regarding measles, the measles vaccine and measles symptoms. This information is also provided in several languages below in translated SRHD Parent/Guardian Letters. (Please utilize Google Translate, which can be found at the bottom this page, for additional language options.) 

CVSD has established ways to support students during this time, which are detailed below.


CVSD Student Support Protocols

For students who do not have evidence of measles immunity or who have a Certificate of Exemption of vaccinations on file with the school.**

In the case of a contagious disease outbreak, CVSD has a duty to conduct the exclusion of students in a timely and student/parent-friendly manner. Below are CVSD’s protocols and accommodations offered to students and their parents when exclusions are required:

  1. When a student is identified as being excluded, the school will identify a point of contact for the student, (counselor, dean, assistant principal, or principal) for the duration of the exclusion.
  2. The student’s point of contact will confer with the student, the student’s teachers, and parents to develop a student learning plan that will include the following:
    1. A specific outline of expectations and timelines.
    2. How assignments will be distributed (online or paper format) and graded. Additional time can be allotted for assignments and tests as needed; and
    3. A communication plan will be developed and agreed upon between the school point of contact, student, and parent.
  3. Additional academic supports may be available as needed, i.e. tutoring, phone calls, and online support. Volunteer tutoring may be available upon request at Spokane County libraries or the Liberty Lake Municipal Library. If for some reason assignments are not available, students will have the option of being placed in appropriate instructional modules, which could be done during the exclusion time period.
  4. High School students may request to be enrolled in Central Valley Virtual Learning courses to complete the semester.
  5. The student’s point of contact will be responsible for monitoring student progress and addressing parent/student/teacher concerns during the exclusion period.
  6. Upon the student’s return, the point of contact will meet with the student and parents to create a reentry plan to ensure student success. Other key members of your child’s educational team may be invited to attend this meeting as appropriate. 
CVSD’s goal is to provide students and families with a high-quality comprehensive educational experience. When a student is required to be excluded from school, we will ensure that academic supports are in place throughout the exclusion time period.
For questions or more information, contact your school principal.


SRHD Information for Parents Regarding Measles:

SRHD has identified a measles case in Deer Park, within Spokane County. There are also active measles outbreak investigations being conducted in Clark and Wahkiakum Counties. Measles is a highly contagious and often dangerous viral infection, which is preventable with immunization. SRHD and your school district are preparing for the possibility that your local community could also see measles cases.
If you directly received an emailed link to this page your child does not have evidence of immunity to measles** on file with the district. We understand that, as parents, some of you have decided to defer measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccination of your children because of religious or medical reasons. In an outbreak, we as public health servants work to protect our community from this very serious disease which can lead to hospitalization, lifelong complications or death.
Exclusion of exposed, non-immune students from on-site school participation during a measles outbreak is necessary to protect the health of the exposed student and the entire school community. Measles can spread before symptoms develop and non-immune individuals are far more likely to become ill with measles after being exposed. We understand the hardship that exclusion from school puts on students and families. This information outlines what will happen if a contagious measles case is identified in your school, and the process of excluding non-immune individuals. 

Exclusion from School 

Because measles is an extremely contagious airborne virus, exclusions will occur building-wide if a case is identified in a school student or staff person. Exclusion orders will come to families and staff in the form of an SRHD Health Officer Order which you will receive from your child’s school. All exposed, non-immune students will be asked to stay home from school, all school activities, and other public places for 21 days following their last date of exposure. Exclusion will occur even if someone receives the first dose of MMR vaccine after the exposure because: 

-    The exposure to measles has already occurred
-    A non-immune individual can transmit measles before symptoms start
-    Immunity takes up to two weeks to develop after immunization
Parents may be hesitant to get the MMR vaccine if their child will still be excluded. However, declining the vaccine could lead to exclusion for the duration of the outbreak in their school, which can be much longer than 21 days (about 3 weeks). 
The health department recommends getting your child vaccinated now to prevent them from getting measles and to allow them to stay in school even in the event of a measles outbreak. Exposed students who had received one dose of MMR vaccine prior to the exposure can return to school after they receive their second dose of MMR. If parents refuse a second dose of MMR after their student’s exposure to measles, the student will be asked to stay home for the period outlined above. 

About Measles and the MMR Vaccine 

Measles is spread when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or shares food/drinks. It can also be spread to those sharing the same airspace as someone infected with measles, via airborne respiratory droplets. Symptoms usually start with a fever, runny nose, red eyes, and cough, followed a few days later by a rash that starts on the head and spreads downward. Measles symptoms usually appear 10-14 days after exposure but can range from 7-21 days. If you think you or your child might have measles, call a healthcare provider immediately. To avoid potentially exposing others, do not go to a clinic or hospital without calling first. 
The best protection against measles is to get immunized with the MMR vaccine. This vaccine is almost completely effective (97%) in protecting exposed individuals from measles infection. The MMR vaccine has been in use for nearly 50 years in the United States, and reports of serious side effects after vaccination are extremely rare. 
Please see the measles fact sheet for more information about measles and the MMR vaccine. If you have questions, please reach out to your school nurse or call SRHD’s Communicable Disease Epidemiology program at 509-324-1442.  
**Acceptable evidence of immunity for measles for K-12 students includes:  
  1. Documentation from a healthcare provider or an official immunization record of two doses of MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine, with the first dose given on or after the first birthday and with a minimum of 28 days between the first and the second dose; or
  2. Laboratory evidence of immunity (this is called a titer, or a measles [rubeola] IgG test, and can be ordered from your healthcare provider on a blood sample to prove immunity); or  
  3. Documentation of healthcare provider-diagnosed measles illness. 


SRHD Parent/Guardian Letters

Regarding Measles in Spokane County March 2024.

***Where Do I Find My Immunization Record?

If you need to access your family's immunization records information, you have a few options. Immunization records are not maintained at the national level. Instead, states maintain this information in immunization registries. Washington state’s registry is the Washington State Immunization Information System (IIS), which is maintained by the Washington State Department of Health (DOH). Only healthcare providers can access the IIS, but individuals have other options for accessing records for vaccines received in Washington state. Please note, records for vaccines received in other states will not be available in Washington state systems.


*The Washington Administrative Code (WAC 246-110-020) designates the Spokane Regional Health Officer as the legal authority when an outbreak, such as mumps, measles, etc. occurs. The local health officer, after consultation with the secretary of health, shall take all appropriate actions deemed to be necessary to control or eliminate the spread of the disease within their local jurisdiction. The order for exclusion of students for the reasons of not having immunizations comes from the Spokane Regional Health District. 
For immunization documentation or status questions, please contact your school nurse or SRHD.***
For questions about student support during times of exclusion, please contact your child's principal or the CVSD Learning and Teaching Department.