COVID Safety: free test kits, vaccine clinics, checkups for fall

A Message from the COVID safety team  

Increased cases, reminder to please follow public health guidance

We are seeing an increase in COVID cases across our schools. Please help our community stay healthy by getting vaccinated and boosted (if eligible), staying home if you are sick and testing when you have a known exposure or COVID symptoms. If you have symptoms of COVID but feel well enough to be at work or be at school and have tested negative, consider wearing a mask.

At-home COVID test kits available in school offices

We encourage staff, students and families to test for COVID if you have symptoms or a known exposure. COVID test kits are available to families and staff on a weekly basis at your school’s front office and the Family Resource Centers. You can also sign up to have 10 test kits mailed to your home each month through Washington state’s Say Yes to Test program.

PCR testing is available in the community including the airport testing site. Appointments can be made by calling the health department at 360-778-6075 or at www.testdirectly.com. Scroll down for more information on what to do if you test positive.

Walk-in testing available at Family Resource Center at Shuksan

We are no longer offering drive thru COVID testing in the Shuksan Middle School parking lot next to the Family Resource Center. However, staff are available to help test families and students in the Family Resource Center each school day from 9 am – 12:30 pm and 1 pm – 3 pm.

Vaccine clinics April 30 and May 21 at Shuksan Middle School

There are two more COVID vaccine clinics this school year at Shuksan Middle School. The first clinic coincides with the YMCA Healthy Kids Day at 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 30. A second vaccine clinic will be held 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Saturday, May 21.

A $25 Fred Meyer gift card will be provided to the first 35 people who get a shot, courtesy of the Bellingham Public Schools Foundation. Health insurance is not required. Bring documentation of any previous doses (photos of vaccine cards ok). First, second and booster doses available. Sign up online for an appointment. Walk ups accepted as well.

COVID vaccine requirement for volunteers and staff continues

All volunteers, including field trip chaperones, must be approved through the BPS volunteer process which includes showing proof of vaccination against COVID. Visitors who are onsite for a one-time event, such as speaking in a class, do not need go through the volunteer process. As with staff and students, volunteers should stay home if they are ill and haven’t tested, or if they have tested positive for COVID.

If you test positive for COVID-19

As a reminder, if you test positive for COVID-19 please inform your school’s front office and report any at-home positive test results to the Whatcom County Health Department by calling  1-800-525-0127 or filling out this online survey. Please visit our COVID-19 Information page and find more details on how long you should stay home under Testing Information.

COVID-19 treatment now available

Taking COVID-19 therapeutics early can reduce the risk of severe illness and hospitalization for people with COVID-19 who are at high risk of developing more serious illness. Ideally, treatment is administered within the first 10 days of COVID symptoms. If you think you might qualify, speak to your healthcare provider first and get a referral to receive PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis), monoclonal antibodies or oral antivirals.

Annual checkups with your child’s health care provider: Plan ahead for fall 2022 

Regular well-child visits with your child’s health care provider are an important opportunity to establish a relationship with a trusted health care provider, ensure your child is up to date on immunizations, track growth and development and to get a sports physical.

Sports Physicals are required for participation in athletics and are good for two years. Click here for the sports physical form the provider must complete at your child’s visit. Up to date immunizations are required for children to attend school and you can view the required immunizations here. It can takes months to get an appointment at some medical offices – plan ahead and schedule yours today!

Questions or concerns? Please contact the Health Services Department and COVID safety team at 360-676-6455 or email bps.health@bellinghamschools.org.

Esta es información sobre la educación de su hijo/a. Solicite traducción o interpretación gratis si necesita al 360-676-6456.