COVID-19 Guidance After State of Emergency Ends Oct. 31

A message from health services

On Oct. 31, the governor’s COVID-19 emergency proclamations and state of emergency is ending and many of the Department of Health’s (DOH) requirements for schools will become recommendations.

Bellingham Public Schools continues to encourage staff and families to follow the public health strategies to limit the spread of COVID-19 as well as other respiratory illnesses. These strategies include vaccinations, staying home when ill, masks, hand washing, ventilation and cleaning.

As we start cold and flu season, we will remind students to cover their coughs and wash their hands and we advise parents/guardians to keep their child home if ill and return after being fever free for 24 hours and symptoms have improved. Please see our Health Services webpage for more information.

Vaccination, masks and testing

  • COVID-19 vaccination will no longer be a requirement for school staff, volunteers, or contractors. We encourage everyone to stay up to date on vaccinations including flu and COVID-19 and will continue to provide information on vaccine opportunities.
  • Masks will continue to be available at all sites for staff and students to protect themselves or others if they choose. The Secretary of Health’s mask mandate remains in effect so masks will still be required when in the health room.
  • Rapid antigen testing will continue to be offered onsite and encouraged when experiencing symptoms. Home tests will continue to be available to send home.

Cases and Outbreaks

Per existing Washington state law, we will continue to report and cooperate with Whatcom County Health Department (WCHD) on cases of notifiable conditions and outbreaks and will notify students, staff, and families as advised by the WCHD, including regular updates to our dashboard.