COVID-19 Response Overview

COVID-19 Vaccinations
Find COVID-19 Vaccine Appointments in WA
COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics | MBSD News Feed

Staying Home when Sick

Regardless of vaccination, staff and students should not come to school if they are experiencing any symptoms associated with COVID-19. Review the Symptom Decision Tree to determine if testing is needed and when you can return to school, or check with your school.

Isolate at home and get tested for COVID-19 if you have one or more of the symptoms below, and then follow the Symptom Decision Tree:

  • Fever (100.4° F or higher) or chills
  • Cough, shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing
  • Muscle or body aches
  • New loss of taste or smell

Isolate at home if you have one or more of the symptoms below, and then follow the Symptom Decision Tree:

  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
  • Cough (new, changed, or worsening)
  • Headache
  • Fatugue
  • Sore throat

Identifying and caring for COVID-19 close contacts at school:


Review the Symptom Decision Tree to determine if testing is needed and when your child can return to school. 

If a negative COVID-19 test is required prior to returning to school, you can request and schedule a COVID-19 test at one of the following:

  1. Your health care provider.
  2. Whatcom County Health Department at (360) 778-6075.
  3. Bellingham Airport Testing Site at testdirectly.com.

Students and staff will need to have improving symptoms and a negative COVID-19 test in order to return to work and school. A molecular PCR test is needed to return to school before 10 days (a home rapid antigen test will not be accepted).


Students and staff will continue social distancing while wearing masks:

  • We encourage students to bring two clean masks to school each day.
  • Masks may be removed to eat, drink, and when outside, and additional mask breaks should be outside or in a well-ventilated area with sufficient space to allow six feet of distance between students and staff.
  • Masks should be made of three or more layers of tightly woven fabric.
  • Masks should cover the mouth and nose, fit securely on the sides of the face and under the chin, and have ties or straps that loop around the ears (preferred over ties around the head or neck).
FAQs on COVID-19 Guidelines and Mandates for Masks
Order of the Secretary of Health 20-03.6 | Face Coverings - Statewide

School Arrival & Departure

Upon arrival to school:

  • Students should have masks on when they arrive at school.

During departure from school:

  • Students will go to their bus, pick-up line, on-campus athletics or activities, or bike/walk home. 
  • If waiting for pick-up or buses, students should maintain physical distance from other students and wait for transportation.

In The Classroom

Classroom requirements & protocols include:

  • Students will maintain a physical distance of three feet or more when possible and reasonable.
  • Students’ desks to be positioned three feet apart at all times.
  • Teachers will maintain a physical distance of six feet or more from students when possible and reasonable.
  • Teachers will maximize opportunities to increase physical space between students during all scheduled activities, and limit interactions in large group settings.

Performing Arts

View the Performing Arts requirements & protocols.

Meals & Recess
  • All school meals are free of charge for the 2021-22 school year; students may also choose to bring a meal from home.
  • Students will practice good health hygiene by washing (preferred) or sanitizing hands before and after mealtime.
  • Student eating areas will be dependent on the school.
  • Masks are optional for students while outside for recess (recess can use recess as mask break time). When students re-enter the school building, they will put on their mask.

Feeling sick at school | Screening Room

If a student or staff member begins to feel unwell during the school day, they will be directed to a designated screening room and a school nurse or trained staff member will assess their symptoms:

  • Use the Symptom Decision Tree to guide next steps for students or staff  with symptoms of illness.
  • Notify parents/guardians if their child needs to be picked up from school, or have staff member return home.
  • Every family is required to have up-to-date contact information and emergency contacts in Skyward; this can be done by contacting your school secretary.


Transportation requirements and protocols include:

  • Please arrive at the bus stop five minutes prior to the scheduled time in the morning.
  • Masks are required while on the bus; please have your mask on when the bus arrives.
  • Siblings will sit in the same seat if possible.
  • If you have any questions, please contact the Transportation Office at (360) 383-2060.

School Cleaning & Disinfecting | Custodial Protocols & Supplies

Custodial requirements and protocols include:

  • Custodians will clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at the end of the day, as well as clean and disinfect during the day as needed.
  • Teachers may use school-provided cleaners for spot cleaning during the school day. This cleaner is effective at removing virus and is safe to use.
  • No students or staff may bring their own cleaning supplies; all cleaners used in schools must meet state and district environmental standards.

Close Contact Tracing | Notification Protocols for Confirmed Cases

If we learn of a confirmed case through parent/guardian reporting or notification from the health department, our COVID-19 site safety teams who help initiate contact tracing

If there are close contacts of a confirmed case, we notify them and their families:

COVID-19 Notification Letters:

Athletic Events

As the State of Washington has mandates for masking, individual schools may have stricter mandates and/or guidelines that fans must abide by. In order to give our student/athletes the opportunity to compete, please follow these guidelines. Please respect these requirements and protocols and mask up.

Outdoor athletic events:

  • Up to 499 fans, no masks are required. Over 500 fans masks are required. Other schools may require wearing a mask; please respect their guidelines and mask up if required.
  • Athletes, coaches, and officials are exempt from wearing a mask; everyone else in attendance is required to wear a mask.

Indoor athletic events: 

  • Only athletes actively playing are not required to wear masks; everyone else in attendance is required to wear a mask.
Sporting Activities, Fitness, and Training Guidance during COVID-19 | WA DOH
Mask Mandate for Extracurricular Activities | WIAA

Information for Staff
COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement for K–12 Employees
COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement for K–12 School Employees: Frequently Asked Questions
Putting On & Removing PPE