BISD COVID-19 information

  • BISD believes in-person instruction is best for students and staff, and BISD strives to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 as best we can to ensure the continuation of in-person instruction. We continue to follow the guidance outlined by our state’s Department of Health (DOH) and below is a synopsis of its most recent guidance. (The complete guidance can be viewed here.) 

    As a reminder, we continue to work closely with Kitsap Public Health District (KPHD) and at any time, KPHD or the DOH has the authority to put health orders or requirements in place to lessen the impact of COVID in our schools. 

    COVID REQUIREMENTS FOR 2022-23 SCHOOL YEAR

    Vaccination Requirements For Employees & Volunteers

    All employees, volunteers and indoor contractors in educational settings are required to be fully vaccinated or have a medical or religious exemption per Governor’s proclamation 21-14.3.

    COVID-19 vaccinations for students are currently not required. However, the DOH strongly encourages all vaccine-eligible children (ages six months and older) to be vaccinated as vaccines provide the best defense against severe COVID-19 infection. To locate COVID-19 vaccinations, vist https://vaccinelocator.doh.wa.gov/

    When Students/Staff Test Exhibit Symptom of COVID-19

    Students and staff who have symptoms of COVID-19 are required to stay home and should get tested. Follow the flowchart to determine next steps.

    If Students/Staff Become Symptomatic within a BISD Facility 

    • Anyone who reports or has COVID-19-like symptoms must be immediately isolated from others, sent home, and referred to diagnostic testing as soon as possible, regardless of vaccination status. 

    • While waiting to leave the school, the individual with symptoms is required to be isolated and wear a well-fitting face mask. Anyone providing care or evaluating the isolated individual must wear appropriate PPE.

    • Note: Masks are required at all times in school health rooms/isolation rooms as they are considered health care settings.   

    Student/Staff Access to COVID-19 Testing 

    • Free at-home rapid antigen tests are available to students and staff from school nurses and the BISD drive-through testing site. Those testing at home should report positive results to the BISD COVID team using the QR code included on the test kits or by completing this form: Reporting Positive Test Results

    • The free BISD testing site for staff and students is located at the District Office, 8489 N Madison Ave., and opens for the 2022-23 school year on August 23rd. The site is open on weekdays (school days) from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (PCR testing ends at 2 p.m.) 

    • COVID tests available at the District Office: 

      • Rapid antigen testing (results within 15 minutes) 

      • PCR testing (results within 24-28 hours). NOTE: PCR testing closes at 2 p.m. in order to make the overnight shipping deadline  

    Testing Recommendations

    A person with symptoms should test every 24-48 hours with rapid antigen tests through at least 5 days after symptoms started.  

    Persons who are symptomatic yet test negative on the rapid antigen test should re-test with a nasal PCR test. While awaiting PCR results, they should continue to test daily with a rapid antigen test.   

    Persons who think they have been exposed and do not have symptoms can continue to attend school, activities and/or work. They should monitor for symptoms for 10 days after exposure. They should test after exposure, every 24-48 hours, up to 10 days after exposure. They should wear a mask for 10 days after exposure. Testing is not available for travel purposes. 

    When Students/Staff Test Positive for COVID-19

    Those who test positive are required to follow the isolation protocol:

    • Isolate at home, regardless of vaccination status. Repeating initial tests does not change this requirement.

    • The individual may return after 5 full days of isolation if they are asymptomatic or their symptoms have improved and they have had no fever for the past 24 hours without using fever-reducing medications. 

    • Day 0 is the first day of symptoms. For people without symptoms, day 0 is the day of the positive viral test. The Isolation & Quarantine Calculator is a resource to help determine the timeline. 

    • Students or staff returning from 5 days of isolation should wear a well-fitted mask from days 6 to 10. Students and staff are also encouraged to test before returning to school.

    • If students or staff continue to test positive for COVID-19 after day 5, they must isolate for the full 10 days. Testing after day 10 is not recommended.

    Notifying Groups or Individuals of Potential Exposure

    Schools are no longer required to directly notify high-risk students and high-risk staff of exposure but must continue to have a process in place to inform students, staff, and families when there are cases or outbreaks in schools.

    • BISD will continue to communicate cases through our daily COVID calendar

    • A person who tests positive for COVID should notify their close contacts of potential exposure to COVID and encourage them to get tested. Potential infectiousness begins 2 days before symptoms started, or 2 days before the positive test - whichever was the first indication of COVID-19 infection.

    Responding to Outbreaks  

    An outbreak is defined as:

    • At least 3 cases within a specified core group meeting criteria for a COVID-19 case from a positive viral test

    OR

    • Multiple COVID-19 cases from positive viral tests comprising at least 10% of students, teachers, or staff within a specified core group
      AND 

    Cases have a symptom onset or positive test result within 14 days of each other. 

     

    BISD is required to report all COVID-19 cases to KPHD and will work with KPHD in determining possible outbreaks. If there is a suspected outbreak, additional mitigation measures may be temporarily required to prevent or slow the spread of COVID-19. Additional measures may include requiring mask use, implementing testing protocols, moving certain activities outdoors, etc. BISD will work with impacted classrooms/athletic teams/activities to respond appropriately.

    COVID MITIGATION STRATEGIES IMPLEMENTED THROUGHOUT BISD

    • Stay Up to Date on Vaccination

    • Stay Home When Sick

    • Test if symptomatic or exposed to COVID-19

    • Mask 

    While masks are no longer required universally in schools, students and staff may choose to wear a mask at school. Their choices will be respected and honored. In addition, there may be situations when a school, Kitsap Public Health District, The Washington State Department of Health, or a person’s medical provider temporarily recommends or requires wearing well-fitting masks. 

    In addition, students or staff who tested positive and are returning to school/work after 5 days of isolation, should wear a well-fitting mask from days 6 to 10. 

    Schools will provide masks for those who desire to wear them. And as a reminder, masks continue to be required in all school health rooms and isolation rooms as these are considered health care settings. 

    • Increased Ventilation

    Ventilation is one of the most important COVID-19 prevention strategies for schools.  BISD HVAC systems are programmed to deliver maximum outside air while school is in session. Standard building HVAC systems are complemented by the addition of portable air filtration devices in strategic areas, including classrooms with few air changes per hour, areas utilized for COVID isolation, and areas of high circulation.  Specific windows and doors have been identified by Facilities staff and will remain open to increase air circulation in environments with specific airflow designs.

    • Respiratory Etiquette and Handwashing

    Good respiratory etiquette and frequent handwashing are encouraged in our schools. 

    Respiratory etiquette means practicing healthy habits that prevent the spread of germs: 

    • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. 

    • Throw used tissues in the trash. 

    • Cough and sneeze into your elbow, not your hands, when you don’t have a tissue.

    Self-serve hand sanitizer (70% alcohol) is available throughout all school buildings as well as sinks with soap dispensers. Washing hands should occur for at least 20 seconds.

    • Cleaning and Disinfecting

    High-touch surfaces like doorknobs, faucet handles, check-in counters, drinking fountains, and restrooms are cleaned and disinfected daily.

    • Transportation

    Ventilation on BISD buses is maximized by keeping at least two front and two rear windows open a few inches. Seating assignments are used to provide the maximum amount of space between students and staff. Standard cleaning between morning and afternoon bus routes continues. 

    • Additional Eating Spaces 

    Outdoor spaces for eating are available for students and staff.