Skip to main content

BSD COVID-19 FAQ

BSD will continue to update this BSD COVID-19 FAQ page with key information as it becomes available. 

UPDATES

San Mateo County Health Officer's Order Continuing Shelter-in-Place, but Lifting Some Restrictions (Added 5/16/2020)

Read the Order of the Health Officer

San Mateo County Health Officer's Order Allowing for Certain Highly Regulated Vehicle-Based Gatherings (Added 5/11/2020)

Read the Order of the Health Officer

Six Bay Area Counties Extend Shelter-in-Place Orders Through the End of May (Added 4/27/2020)

Read the Order of the Health Officer

San Mateo County Health Officer's Face Covering Order (Added 4/21/2020)

Read more on this by visiting the San Mateo County website

 

Revised San Mateo County Stay at Home Order (Added 4/13/2020)

Read the Order of the Health Officer

 

Bay Area Campuses to Stay Closed for Remainder of the School Year  (Added 4/7/2020)

Read the San Mateo County Office of Education Press Release

 

Governor Newsom's Executive Order on Childcare for Essential Workers (Added 4/4/2020)

Read Governor Newsom's Order

 

Bay Area Health Officers Issue Update Stay-at-Home Order with New Restrictions to Last Through May 3, 2020 (Added 3/31/2020)

Read the Joint Press Release

 

San Mateo County COVID-19 Public Call Center (Added 3/9/2020)

The new number for the San Mateo County COVID-19 Public Call Center is now 211. This line is open 24/7 in multiple languages. You can also text "coronavirus" to 211211 for information and updates. 

All San Mateo County school districts are coordinating messaging. In BSD, we will send periodic emails when necessary and regularly update this BSD COVID-19 FAQ for up to the minute changes and direction. 

We will keep you informed by providing emails only when necessary to support our community in remaining calm, accessing correct information, and focusing on controlling what we can control. 

 

What if I think my child may have been exposed to COVID-19? (Added 3/9/2020) 

If your child has any of the symptoms referenced above and has been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or if you have recently traveled to an area with ongoing spread, your child should stay home and you should call your doctor right away. Please notify your school office immediately if you think your child may have been exposed. For more guidance see the CDC's COVID-19 information site
 

What is “coronavirus” and what is COVID-19; how are they different? (Added 3/4/2020)

COVID-19 is the name for the “novel coronavirus” which originated in Wuhan, China in 2019. Coronavirus is an umbrella term. There are many strains of coronavirus. The current situation relates specifically to COVID-19. From here forward, the coronavirus strand in question will be referred to as COVID-19. 
 

What are the dangers to children and how might they be different than for adults? (Added 3/4/2020) 

The Center for Disease Control has provided these answers as it relates to children and COVID-19.

 

What PRECAUTIONS can I take to help avoid contracting COVID-19 or exposing my children to it? (Added 3/4/2020) 

The SMC Health Department and other health officials are clear that the same precautions you would use for the seasonal flu, you should employ to guard against COVID-19. As recommended by San Mateo County Health:

  1. Cover your cough and sneeze. 

  2. Wash your hands frequently. 

  3. Avoid shaking hands and touching your face with unwashed hands. 

  4. If you are not feeling well or are experiencing cold, flu, or other symptoms, contact your primary care provider and stay home from school or work.

  5. Like washing your hands, wearing a surgical mask may help a bit but you need to know that surgical masks don’t offer much protection when they are worn by people who are well. They are most helpful when worn by those who are already sick so that they are less likely to transmit the disease to others. Surgical masks are already in short supply and should be prioritized for use in health care settings.

  6. You should use a barrier, such as a paper towel or tissue, to touch commonly touched surfaces, such as bathroom door handles or elevator buttons.

What can I do to PREPARE my family and me for COVID-19’s future spread? (Added 3/4/2020) 

Please read this article on NPR; A Guide: How to Prepare Your Home for Coronavirus

The most important thing that you can do besides regular flu precautions is to PREPARE for infection and/or the impacts of infection. You can visit the Center for Disease Control for suggestions on preparing your home and life; Dr. Scott Morrow of SMC Health Department recommends asking yourself these questions:

  1. How will I take care of myself if I become sick?

  2. How will I take care of my family if they become sick?

  3. If school needs to be canceled for some reason, what child care would I need to arrange? 

  4. What supplies might I need to stock up on that are readily available in case the supply chain is interrupted for some reason? 

Some other questions you might ask yourself are: (Added 3/4/2020)

  1. Do I have an ample supply of my daily medications, critical meds, and any medications that would be necessary to treat symptoms of the flu? (Example: adult and children’s acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and/or cough medicine.)

  2. Is my earthquake kit up to date and ready to go in as much as it has general emergency supplies that might be of help? (Of course, having supplies beyond the typical earthquake kit is a good idea. What you decide to have on hand is based on your individual and family situation.)

Knowing answers to these questions prior to an elevated situation will go a long way to ensuring your comfort and safety in a myriad of scenarios.

 

How should I talk to my child about COVID-19? (Added 3/4/2020, Updated 3/9/2020)

There is no “right way” to talk to your child about hard subjects. Every child and every family is different. NPR recently published this potentially helpful cartoon flip book to assist in discussing the topic with your child. We have also shared this with our teachers. BSD school counselors and your amazing classroom teachers are available daily to receive your emails of concern should your child be experiencing acute anxiety around COVID-19. Please feel free to reach out. Here are some suggested articles: 

How to Talk to Kids About Coronavirus

Talking to Kids About the Coronavirus 

Talking to Children About COVID-19 (Coronavirus): A Parent Resource

Talking to Teens and Tweens About Coronavirus

 

Will schools know if a student has been exposed to COVID-19 and will BSD close school if someone is believed to have been exposed? (Added 3/4/2020)

SMC Health Department made it clear to us that it is nearly impossible to know now when or if someone is exposed. The first phase of the COVID-19 response was to contain, but recent changes in the spread mean that anyone could have been exposed, any time, at any location. Unless otherwise told to do so, the school district will not close school due to suspected exposure and no child or adult should be made to feel unsafe or unaccepted by assumption or innuendo. Anyone who feels they may have been exposed should contact their primary care physician. 

 

Will the district know if a district student or a student’s family has contracted COVID-19? (Added 3/4/2020) 

Not necessarily. The Health Department will be in charge of care and direction for isolation. District officials will remain in contact with the County Health Department and take direction from them. 
 

What cleaning precaution is BSD taking to help alleviate the spread of illness? (Added 3/4/2020) 

San Mateo County Health Department offers no special cleaning directions during this period beyond the high standard of BSD cleaning practices. However, out of an abundance of caution and to alleviate spreading any contagion,  our hard-working custodial staff have all received reminders of their training and specific guidelines to daily disinfect high-traffic locations such as door handles, faucet handles, phones, physical education equipment, and all student learning surfaces. BSD uses state-recommended cleaning materials with fidelity. All soap dispensers will be filled daily. Staff are encouraged to immediately report any empty soap dispensers to site custodial staff.  In addition, every classroom has been equipped with antibacterial wipes for student desks, pencils, etc.. of illness? 

Hand washing is always recommended during the cold and flu season; this season is no exception. Proper handwashing is one of the most effective ways to limit the spread of COVID-19. BSD staff have been asked to remind and encourage students, in age-appropriate ways, to wash their hands. Students are encouraged to pay special attention to washing hands before eating and at the end of recess/play time. Most BSD classrooms are equipped with faucets and soap dispensers. BSD teachers have been told that it is understandable during this cold and flu season if a few minutes of instructional time is used to ensure students can wash hands.

The district is also providing every classroom with hand sanitizer pumps and has ordered multiple gallons of refill sanitizer to have on hand. Feel free to put a travel size hand sanitizer in your child’s backpack. Please note, there is no guarantee that this precaution will prevent the spread of any contagion. It is simply a provision that may help to decrease risk. Parents are asked to encourage their children to wash hands regularly AND to practice, especially with younger children, appropriate and effective hand washing practices

 

How is BSD handling family travel and/or new students during the COVID-19 threat? (Added 3/4/2020) 

Schools cannot limit or control the travel or registration of any family. Travel restrictions are the responsibility of the federal government, although BSD will take the proper and legal precautions to ensure health and safety. 

BSD remains a welcoming place respectful of its role as a public institution. We are not keeping children out of school simply because they have travelled to a specific country or moved to BSD from a country that has been in the news for having COVID-19 activity. Additional factors would play into whether a child is asked to stay home. Families may choose a voluntary quarantine due to travel, and some have. If an individual is in a known risk category, it is the Health Department’s responsibility to determine isolation requirements. 

If BSD has knowledge of travel from outside the US during the school year, we may request that parents provide a “clean bill of health” record from a primary care physician before returning. If registering to attend BSD schools from another country, please be prepared to provide confirmation of your entry date into the US to confirm a 14-day period before starting school. These expectations may change as the situation changes. Any new guidelines will be shared here. 

 

What additional sites might parents be interested in visiting for information? (Added 3/4/2020)

How often should I check BSD’s COVID-19 FAQ? (Added 3/4/2020) 

As often as you feel necessary. The information will be maintained on an ongoing basis and the most current information will be included in the document. If important information is shared that parents need to know, we will email you to alert you to additions or changes to the COVID-19 FAQ. BSD will provide the most uptodate links from local, state, and national officials in this FAQ.