Connecting staff and families to the information they need
Students are returning to the classroom for the 2021-2022 school year at the direction of Governor Inslee, the Secretary of Health, and the Superintendent of Public Instruction. Following recommendations and guidelines from the CDC, they have determined that all students will have the opportunity to attend school in-person full time (five days per week) in the 2021–22 school year. The role of the Whatcom County Health Department is to help public and private schools keep students safe and support learning.
The guidance in place for the current school year includes:
- K-12 COVID-19 Requirements the 2021-2022 School Year
- Supplemental Considerations to Mitigate COVID-19 Transmission in K-12 Schools
Everyone 5 years or older is eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine
Those ages 5 and older are now eligible for vaccination. The Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are available for those ages 18 and older. Only the Pfizer vaccine is available to those ages 5 to 17. Those ages 16 and older are now also eligible for booster doses.
Find vaccine information here.
Helpful tools for schools
- K-12 COVID-19 Requirements for 2021-2022 School Year
- Supplemental considerations to mitigate COVID-19 in schools
- Symptom Tracker
- Homecoming and Fall 2021 Event Planning Guide
- DOH Testing in Schools Guidance
- Masking Information
- Secretary of Health’s Mask Order
- Secretary of Health’s Mask Order FAQs
- Washington State Department of Labor & Industries Masking Guidance
- Association Between K–12 School Mask Policies and School-Associated COVID-19 Outbreaks — Maricopa and Pima Counties, Arizona, July–August 2021 | MMWR (cdc.gov)
- Pediatric COVID-19 Cases in Counties With and Without School Mask Requirements — United States, July 1–September 4, 2021 | MMWR (cdc.gov)
- Learn to Return
- DOH Sports and Fitness Guidance
- COVID-19 Resources and Recommendations
- Contact Tracing Guide
- K-12 Schools COVID-19 Contact Tracing Support Request Process (wa.gov)
- COVID-19 Guidance for Non-Health Care Businesses and Organizations
- How to wash and reuse personal protective equipment
- CDC Resources for Teachers and staff
- DOH Vaccinating Youth Information
- COVID-19 FAQ for K-12 Schools (wa.gov)
- Pediatric COVID-19 Vaccines What Parents/Guardians Should Know (wa.gov)
- COVID-19 Vaccines: Pediatric Vaccine Toolkit for Schools (PowerPoint)
- Masks Required Here signage (English; Spanish)
- Vaccinated Student Exposure Notification Letter
- Vaccinated Staff Exposure Notification Letter
- Unvaccinated Student Exposure Notification Letter
- Unvaccinated Student Exposure Notification Letter (Spanish)
- Unvaccinated Staff Exposure Notification Letter
- Facility Closure Letter
- Classroom Closure Letter
- Modified Quarantine Exposure Notification Letter
- Modified Quarantine Exposure Notification Letter (Spanish)
- Parent Guardian Exposure Notification Call Key Points
- Parent Guardian COVID-19 Notification Call Script
- General Parent Guardian COVID-19 Notification Letter
Model and encourage healthy habits
We can all take these steps to safeguard our health.
- Get vaccinated.
- Wear a well-fitting mask.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water and for at least 20 seconds.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes.
- Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces.
- Stay at home and away from others if you are sick.
- Get your flu shot annually.
- Mary Bridge Children’s—Helping Children Cope.
- Kids Health—How to talk to talk to your child about COVID-19.
- National Public Radio’s comic strip Just for Kids: A Comic Exploring the New Coronavirus.
- Helping Children and Youth Who Have Experienced Traumatic Events—Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
Continue to review and update your emergency operations plan
As you continue to refine your plan, these tools can help:
- CDC—Interim guidance for schools.
- FEMA—Guide for Developing High-Quality School Emergency Operations.
- CDC—Colleges and Universities Pandemic Influenza Checklist.
- CDC—Interim Guidance for Administrators of U.S. Institutions of Higher Education.
- OSPI—COVID-19 Guidance, Resources and School Closures
Include this information in the plan:
- Contact information for the Health Department.
- Options for virtual learning or a plan to make up days if your school closes.
- Process for sharing information with students and families.