Health & Safety Newsletter
March 10, 2021
Important Updates and Information
Information on COVID-19 related safety protocols are rapidly evolving at this time. We are doing our best to stay up to date and support our WHWS community. Thank you all for reading.
Screening Announcement
Screening Adjustment
Starting Monday, March 15th, we will begin phasing out on-site temperature checks. We ask that parents screen and check the temperature of their child before arriving at school each day. If you are unable to do your own temperature check, we will be available to take temperatures upon arrival. Review the WA DOH Symptom Flowchart as a screening guide.

Please take a moment to print and fill out this Guardian Screening Attestation (your written commitment to daily at-home temperature checks) and email the completed form to
Spring Break Travelers
Updated Travel Guidance
Please remember, wherever you go and whatever you do, impacts our whole school family. We strongly encourage every individual family in our larger WHWS family to be particularly mindful of travel and stay-at-home plans this year. If you plan to gather or take a trip, be sure to choose the safest way possible.
  • Please see the WA State Travel advisory.
  • The CDC recommends avoiding all nonessential travel. 
  • When traveling, one is accepting the increased likelihood of acquiring or spreading COVID-19. 
  • Please do not travel if you or someone in your bubble is sick, tests positive for COVID or has been in close contact with someone who has tested positive with COVID-19 in the last 48-hrs.
  • The CDC recommends getting a viral test 1-3 days before you travel.
  • Use the CDC COVID Data Tracker to see the levels of community transmission for the locations you plan to travel to.
  • The CDC recommends folks get tested 3-5 days after travel AND stay home and self-quarantine for 7 days after travel.
  • If you don’t get tested, it’s safest to stay home for 10 days after travel.
  • If you are eligible, the CDC recommends getting fully vaccinated for COVID-19 then waiting 2 weeks after getting your second vaccine dose to travel
Communication and Guidance
If someone travels to or hosts a guest from someone outside of Whatcom or Skagit County, a 10-day quarantine or a negative COVID-19 test on day 3-5 post traveling or hosting is strongly encouraged before returning to school or other community activities.

Read the CDC travel recommendations for more information.
Absence Survey
Absence Requirement
The Health and Safety Committee has developed a short, post absence, survey to ensure we have a standard documentation of absences. Whether your student is absent for a personal reason or because of something related to symptoms or exposure to COVID-19 we are asking that this survey be filled out before returning to school. If you have an absent student, please look out for an email with the survey. 
Message On Outdoor Play
As we move into the warmer months, classes will be sharing outdoor spaces more frequently. Some classes will be participating in activities together outdoors with layered mitigations. Classes will be closely supervised by teachers. If you have any questions, please email
Mask Washing Reminder
Please remember to wash masks after each school day or rotate them out. If this is not an option, we have extra masks available in all of the classrooms and upon arrival at the screening station.
New guidance from CDC for vaccinated folks
“We’re still learning how vaccines will affect the spread of COVID-19. After you’ve been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, you should keep taking precautions in public places like wearing a mask, staying 6 feet apart from others, and avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces until we know more.”
Case Updates
Please look to this link to find case information for Washington State.
Four metrics are presented on this dashboard:
  1. Trend in 14-day rate of new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population, shown as Trend in case rate;
  2. Trend in 14-day rate of new COVID-19 hospital admissions per 100,000 population, shown as Trend in hospital admission rate;
  3. Average 7-day percent occupancy of ICU staffed beds, shown as Percent ICU occupancy; and
  4. 7-day percent positive of COVID-19 tests, shown as Percent positivity.
How opening windows and air cleaners make a difference for classrooms
Please check out this informative Ventilation Simulation from New York Times.
How the Johnson and Johnson vaccine works
“The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is based on the virus’s genetic instructions for building the spike protein. But unlike the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, which store the instructions in single-stranded RNA, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine uses double-stranded DNA.”

COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility Update
As of March 2nd, 2020, "employees of public preschools and public and private preK–12 schools are eligible." 
See Governor Jay Inslee’s statement on the vaccine directive and read the letter from the Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction for frequently asked questions about getting a vaccine.
Finding a COVID-19 Vaccine
If you are interested in getting vaccinated, the COVID-19 Vaccine Finder can help you find a location to schedule your appointment.
Whatcom County Vaccine Progress
If you are curious about how Whatcom County is doing with dose progress or have a logistical question about the vaccine, see their website.