Last updated March 16, 2022 at 9:45 p.m.. – Learn more about this update

The Bellevue School District has established closure protocols in accordance with guidelines from the Washington State Department of Health (PDF). When a positive case of COVID-19 is discovered in the school setting, BSD alerts Public Health – Seattle & King County.

When we are notified that someone who tested positive for COVID-19 was in person in a school setting during their infectious period, the BSD COVID Cases in School Dashboard will be updated.

Scroll down to learn more about:

  • Quarantine, isolation protocols
  • Instruction during isolation
  • What is an ‘outbreak’ of COVID-19
  • Contact tracing

Quarantine Protocols

On January 4, 2022, the CDC recommended applying updated isolation and quarantine guidance for K-12 settings. The Washington State Department of Health and Public Health – Seattle & King County have adopted these recommendations. New requirements for isolation after a positive test and responding to exposures to COVID-19 have been adopted by the Washington State Department of Health.  These new requirements will apply on March 12, 2022.

Quarantine

Quarantine is when someone who has been exposed to COVID-19 stays home and away from others for the recommended period of time.

Students, teachers and staff who come in close contact with someone with COVID-19 no longer need to quarantine as long as they do not have any symptoms of COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status.

Regardless of vaccination status, students, children, and staff who were potentially exposed to COVID-19 are encouraged to:

Monitor for symptoms,

AND

Consider wearing a well-fitted mask (if age appropriate) for 10 days after the last date of exposure, especially during activities like high-risk indoor sports, performing arts, etc.,

AND

Get tested 3-5 days after their last exposure. Molecular (PCR/NAAT), antigen, and at home tests are acceptable. If they test positive, they must isolate.

Isolation

Any student, child, or staff member who reports or exhibits COVID-19-like symptoms is required to be immediately isolated from others, sent home, and referred to diagnostic testing as soon as feasible, regardless of vaccination status.

While waiting to leave the school or program, the individual with symptoms is required to be isolated in a designated isolation space. They are required to wear a well-fitting face mask, if tolerated and age appropriate.

A student, child, or staff member who tests positive for COVID-19 is required to isolate at home, regardless of vaccination status. The isolation period is 10 full days from the start of symptoms or the date of positive test. See Calculating Your Isolation Period for additional information.

The individual may return to school/care after 5 full days of isolation if:

Their symptoms have significantly improved or they are asymptomatic,

AND

They are without a fever for the past 24 hours without use of fever-reducing medications,

AND

If returning to school/care days 6-10, the individual is required to:

Wear a well-fitted mask or face shield with a drape during days 6-10 of their isolation period, consistent with CDC guidance,

OR

Test negative with an antigen or at-home test any day after day 5 before returning without a mask. Testing beyond day 10 is not necessary.

If the individual is not able to wear a well-fitted mask or face shield with a drape, AND does not test negative, they are required to continue isolating through the end of their isolation period.

Staff who test positive for COVID-19, or parents/guardians of students who test positive for COVID-19, should notify the school immediately upon receipt of the test results.

Instruction During Isolation

Schools should prepare for instructing students who are excluded from school due to COVID-19 illness. Isolation guidelines for COVID-19 can be found above.

How will Bellevue School District provide instruction during isolation?

Bellevue School District will follow existing practices to provide instruction and services for these individuals which may include, but is not limited to:

  • Small group/personalized virtual instruction
  • Independent learning and practice
  • Concurrent and/or recorded instruction

Appropriate supports will be provided as necessary.

Who will provide instruction?

Educators should provide meaningful instruction and connection with the educator and classmates. Educators should establish a clear schedule for students, including:

  • The times that students should be joining class, small groups, or checking in with the educator via Teams
  • Due dates for independent work completion and/or viewing recorded lessons
  • Times and dates students can expect recordings or materials to be posted to Teams/OneNote

What modes of instruction will be offered?

The educator should design the isolation instruction based on the needs of the student. The educator may choose to use multiple modes of instruction. Five possible modes of instruction for students in isolation include:

  • Recorded Lessons: pre-recorded lessons or recording in-class lessons and sending to the student later in the day
  • Independent Work: assigned work for the student to complete independently
  • Virtual/Concurrent Whole Group:
    • Student in isolation joins the whole class via Teams
    • All students, both in-person and virtual, log into Teams simultaneously (which would support small groups/partner work between in-person and virtual students)
    • Educator displays Teams meeting on a Smart Board so students can see each other
  • Virtual/Concurrent Small Groups: student(s) in isolation participate in virtual/concurrent small group instruction
    • Students in isolation join a small group of in-person students live during class time via Teams
    • Multiple students in isolation could be their own small group and meet with the educator while the in-person students are doing independent or small group work
  • Virtual Individual Instruction: educator meets one-on-one with a student who is in isolation during a time that works for both the educator and the student/family

What is an ‘outbreak’ of COVID-19?

A COVID-19 outbreak in a school is considered when the following have been met:

  • Multiple probable or confirmed COVID-19 cases comprising at least 10% of students, teachers, or staff within a specified core group

-OR-

  • At least 3 cases within a specified core group meeting criteria for a probable or confirmed COVID-19 case;

-AND-

  • Cases have symptom onset or positive test results within 14 days of each other,

-AND-

  • Cases were not identified as close contacts of each other in another setting (i.e., household) outside of the school setting.

-AND-

  • Cases were epidemiologically linked in the school setting or a school-sanctioned extracurricular activity

Contact Tracing

Per guidance from the Washington State Department of Health, BSD may implement contact tracing during an outbreak (as defined above) in consultation with Public Health – Seattle & King County.

How do staff conduct contact tracing?

We start by determining if the student or employee who tested positive was in person at school during their infectious period, which begins 48 hours prior to symptoms starting or their positive test was taken if they have no symptoms.

Then, we find out who the person was in close contact with at school during this time. For those people we identify as close contacts, we will provide the recommendations on how to respond if potentially exposed, as noted above.

How is contact tracing conducted?

We will continue to work with Public Health — Seattle & King County to monitor new cases of COVID-19 in our schools

How does BSD know when someone tests positive for COVID-19?

There are a few different ways we may find out that someone tested positive for COVID-19:

  • If it is a student:
    • The family may contact the attendance office to let them know their student will be missing school due to testing positive.
    • The student may email their teacher to let them know they are sick at home with COVID.
    • The student or family may email the school nurse or principal.
    • Public Health may contact our district COVID-19 coordinator to let them know they found someone who tested positive during their community contact tracing.
  • If it is an employee:
    • An employee may report their illness to their supervisor.
    • Public Health may contact our district COVID-19 coordinator to let them know they found someone who tested positive during their community contact tracing.

The person who is alerted that someone tested positive then reaches out to either the school nurse or our District COVID-19 Coordinator.

Who do we notify when someone tests positive for COVID-19?

Staff are required to be notified of exposure following the requirements in WAC 296-62-600.

In addition, schools are required to directly notify any student who has been identified as immunocompromised, medically fragile, or otherwise at high risk for severe COVID-19 of potential exposure. Notification should be provided to all employees and high risk individuals, irrespective of their vaccination status or recent infection within the past 90 days.

For the rest of the general school and youth-serving population, schools and providers are required to have a process in place to inform students, children, families, and staff when there are cases or outbreaks in the school. Bellevue School District will continue to notify our learning community about cases of COVID in school buildings by posting cases  and outbreaks on the district COVID dashboard as we become aware of them.


The Bellevue School District acknowledges that we learn, work, live and gather on the Indigenous Land of the Coast Salish peoples, specifically the Duwamish and Snoqualmie Tribes. We thank these caretakers of this land, who have lived and continue to live here, since time immemorial.