COVID-19 Guidelines and Protocols

Lea Hysom, School Nurse

Seek medical care and contact the school nurse if you are experiencing fever, cough, and shortness of breath.

Health Screening Procedure

Parents are expected to submit a health screening attestation for their children every school day before students arrive at school. Any others who may be allowed on campus, including parents, must also complete a health screen attestation prior to entering any school building.

You and your child may not enter the building if the answer to any of these questions is yes.

  1. Has your child or someone living in your household been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the last 14 days?
  2. Has your child or someone living in your household been in close contact with a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 in the last 14 days?
  3. Has your child returned from international travel in the last 14 days?
  4. Has your child had any medication to reduce a fever before coming to school?
  5. Does your child or someone living in your household currently have, or had within the last 72 hours, any of the following symptoms?
  • Fever > 100° F or a sense of having a fever
  • Cough
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chills 
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Unusual fatigue
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea

Returning to School

  • Students must be symptom-free for 72 hours prior to returning to school.
  • If a student is diagnosed with COVID-19 based on a test, their symptoms, or does not get a COVID-19 test but has had symptoms, he/she should not be at school and should stay at home until they meet the criteria below, in consultation with your health care provider and local health department:
    • It has been at least 10 days since the student first had symptoms
    • It has been at least 24 hours since the student had a fever, without the use of fever reducing medication
    • Other symptoms of COVID-19 are improving (loss of taste and smell may persist for weeks or months after recovery and need not delay the end of isolation)
    • Clearance by the school nurse is required to return to school  
  • If a student has been diagnosed with COVID-19 but does not have symptoms, he/she should remain out of school until 10 days has passed since the date of their first positive COVID-19 diagnostic test, assuming he/she has not subsequently developed symptoms. Clearance by the school nurse is required to return to school.
  • If a student has had a negative COVID-19 test or received confirmation of an alternative diagnosis from a health care provider, he/she may return to school once he/she is symptom-free for 72 hours.
  • Students who are well but have a sick family member at home should not return to school until the family member is symptom-free for 72 hours.  
  • If a student has been determined to have been in close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19, he/she should remain home for 14 days since the last known contact, unless he/she tests positive, in which case, the above criteria would apply. He/She must complete the full 14 days of quarantine even if he/she tests negative. Clearance by the school nurse is required to return to school.

Signs and Symptoms

Although coronavirus is a very common virus and in its simplest form can cause the common cold, other strains of this virus (MERS-CoV, SARS-CoV, as well as the 2019 novel coronavirus) have been known to cause severe respiratory symptoms in some people.

Symptoms may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 days after exposure and typically include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Difficulty breathing 
  • Chills with or without shaking
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache 
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Fatigue 
  • Congestion or runny nose (not related to allergies)
  • Nausea or vomiting 
  • Diarrhea

Know How It Spreads

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person to person.

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
  • Some recent studies have suggested that COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms.

Prevention

Both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Washington State Department of Public Heath have published information about the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak.

See Bear Creek's Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response page for more resources and school communication about the outbreak.

There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. It seems to be spreading easily and sustainably in the community (“community spread”) in many affected geographic areas. Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick, even inside your home. If possible, maintain 6 feet between the person who is sick and other household members.
  • Put distance between yourself and other people outside of your home. 
  • Everyone should wear a cloth face cover when they have to go out in public, for example to the grocery store or to pick up other necessities. 
    • Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
    • The cloth face cover is meant to protect other people in case you are infected.
    • Do not use a face mask meant for a healthcare worker.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.  
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
  • Monitor your health and be alert for symptoms. Watch for fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19.  
  • Follow CDC guidance if symptoms develop and seek medical care right away. Seattle and King County is now recommending that anyone who has COVID-19 symptoms or close contact with someone who has COVID-19 be tested right away. Testing as soon as possible after symptoms appear is important to prevent COVID-19 from spreading to family, friends, and the community. Learn more about COVID-19 testing in King County.

If you have any questions, please contact Lea Hysom, school nurse, at lea.hysom@tbcs.org or 425-898-1720 ext. 399.

  • health policy