Health and Safety Plan

In order to minimize risk and exposure to COVID-19, and to achieve our goal of bringing back our students in person full time, the Bemidji Area Schools community must work together and follow some simple health and safety guidelines: practice proper social distancing of 6ft or more, wear face coverings over our nose and mouth when around others, and practice basic hygiene. 

Creating a Safe and Healthy Environment

Since March 2020 when all schools in Minnesota were required to move to distance learning due to the severity COVID-19 pandemic, Bemidji Area Schools has taken many significant steps to create the safest possible environment for anyone who enters our building. We have and continue to:

  • Follow the guidelines of the Minnesota Department of Health 
  • Consult with public health experts to follow best practices for isolation and quarantine protocols and COVID-19 testing
  • Limit access for visitors and volunteers
  • Provide devices to all students and instructional staff to limit shared materials
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces thoroughly
  • Modify spaces and schedules to support social distancing of 6 feet to the fullest extent possible
  • Encourage frequent and good hand hygiene and provide hand sanitizer at entrances, in classrooms and in cafeterias
  • Require face coverings for all K-12 students, staff and visitors in district buildings and transportation vehicles, unless an accommodation is required
  • Limit capacity in buildings and transportation vehicles to no more than 50%
  • Avoid large gatherings or congregating before and after school
  • Keep students in the same groups or cohorts whenever possible

Health Screening Protocols

COVID-19 symptoms include:

One of the more common symptoms:  fever greater than or equal to 100.4 F, new onset and/or worsening cough, difficulty breathing, new loss of taste or smell;  and/or two or more of the less common: sore throat, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, chills, muscle pain, excessive fatigue, new onset of severe headache, new onset of nasal congestion or runny nose.

If a person has a new symptom (for example, new loss of smell only) with no other diagnosis to explain it, the student and their siblings should stay home and talk to their health care provider about testing for COVID-19, even if it is the only symptom they are experiencing.

Families are asked to monitor their child’s health by following a COVID-19 screening checklist for signs of infectious illness every day. If a child is showing any signs of illness and/or has been tested for COVID-19 and is waiting for a result they should stay home.

Please see the MDH Covid-19 Decision Tree for more detailed information. 

Students who show signs of illness while in school buildings will be referred to the building health para for an evaluation of symptoms. A student who becomes ill during the school day will be brought to the designated isolation area in the school building until their parent/caregiver can arrange for pick up per MDH guidelines. (Resource: What to do when you are sick)

If a student is distance learning and tests positive for COVID, the school district would appreciate parents calling the health para at their school and letting them know or call the District Nurse and let her know that your student is positive so that we can keep track of data that will help us in determining when we can return to school. 

Additional resources