Weaving communities together
Safety in Schools
WIHS follows guidance from the Whatcom County Department of Health as well as the Office of the Superintendent of Public Education. WIHS is committed to maintaining the health and safety of our community, including providing a positive learning environment for students. WIHS intends to offer in-person learning with the following health and safety measures.
In this COVID-19 Handbook, you will find our health and safety protocols. We will remain adaptive and modify these protocols as we follow the latest guidance from the Whatcom Health Department, Washington State Department of Health (DOH), and CDC.
Washington state DOH has released new COVID-19 guidance for schools and we are in the process of updating school procedures. The largest change in guidance are new recommendations around isolation and quarantine to align with the CDC’s recommendations. Please review the following changes to isolation and quarantine guidelines.
Isolation applies to students and staff who test positive for COVID-19. If you test positive for COVID regardless of your vaccination status, you need to isolate at home for five days.
- You may return to school when:
- Five days have passed since symptom onset, or since positive test specimen collection date if no symptoms are present; AND
- No symptoms are present, or symptoms are resolving; AND
- No fever within the past 24 hours
Students who had exposure to COVID-19 outside of school are now eligible to participate in our Test to Stay program and may continue attending school during their five day quarantine period as long as they don’t have symptoms of illness.
When to return to school if you are a close contact.
- Students who are fully vaccinated: you do not need to quarantine.
- Students who had a confirmed case of COVID-19 within the last 90 days: you do not need to quarantine.
- Students who are not fully vaccinated: you can participate in Test to Stay and may continue to come to school as long as you test negative. You must wear a mask at all times for 10 days and complete rapid antigen tests. Testing is best on days three and five after exposure.
- Students not participating in Test to Stay: quarantine at home for five days. Do a rapid test on day five and return to school the next day if negative and no symptoms are present. Home rapid is not accepted. We can test at school.
- Students choosing not to test: you should quarantine for 10 days from last exposure.
Currently COVID-19 cases in the WIHS community are very low, and recent positive cases have been identified prior to individuals attending school. With that said, several local schools and districts have made the decision to shift to remote learning due to rising COVID numbers, staffing needs and weather-related difficulties.
The state has asked all school districts to plan for the possibility of remote learning in case a classroom or school needs to close, but at this point we expect school to remain in-person. Community transmission continues to shift rapidly, so we will continue to take COVID rates and weather challenges into account and notify our community if anything changes.
Rapid antigen testing is available at school for students and staff, and WIHS has been participating in the Test to Stay protocol. We appreciate your participating in screening testing when we returned from the winter vacation, and will continue to periodically screen all students and staff. If students are experiencing symptoms or if you have concerns about a potential exposure, testing can be requested at the office.