Illness Guidance

Illness Guidance

Bellingham Technical College remains mindful of the lessons we have learned and how we can apply those lessons to all contagious or infectious diseases that our campus may encounter. BTC will monitor future guidance from Whatcom Department of Health to ensure the campus remains a safe learning environment.

This guidance articulates our guiding principles and process going forward to maintain a healthy campus community in a sustainable way. The college will continue to provide support and information to our campus community.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated their Covid Guidance as of March 1, 2024, and Bellingham Technical College is following that guidance. Please review the CDC respiratory Virus Guidance for more information.

The updated CDC Respiratory Virus Guidance recommends that people stay home and away from others until at least 24 hours after both their symptoms are getting better overall, and they have not had a fever (and are not using fever-reducing medication). Note that depending on the length of symptoms, this period could be shorter, the same, or longer than the previous guidance for COVID-19.

It is important to note that the CDC guidance doesn’t end with staying home and away from others when sick. The guidance encourages added precaution over the next five days after time at home, away from others, is over. Since some people remain contagious beyond the “stay-at-home” period, a period of added precaution using prevention strategies, such as taking more steps for cleaner air, enhancing hygiene practices, wearing a well-fitting mask, keeping a distance from others, and/or getting tested for respiratory viruses can lower the chance of spreading respiratory viruses to others.

It is recommended that students and employees stay home if they:

  • have a temperature of 100.4* F or greater. A student or employee should not return to campus until they have been fever-free (without the use of fever-reducing medicines) for at least 24 hours
  • are exhibiting flu symptoms (fever of 100.4* F or greater with a cough or sore throat, fatigue, body aches, vomiting, and/or diarrhea)
  • are experiencing gastrointestinal symptoms (nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea) that present with or without a fever
  • have severe uncontrolled coughing or wheezing, rapid or difficult breathing, or prolonged coughing

If students or employees are beginning to feel ill, especially if they are experiencing fevers or chills, it is recommended that they leave campus immediately.

When returning to campus, students and employees should take the following precautionary measures:

  • Cover their mouth and nose completely when coughing or sneezing. Use a tissue; when their done, discard the tissue and wash their hands (or use hand sanitizer)
  • Do not share liquids and foods with others
  • Avoid close contact with others
  • Avoid touching their eyes, nose or mouth
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects

Certain programs at BTC have partnerships with external agencies for clinical placement.  These partnerships require students enrolled in these programs to adhere to the medical requirements of these partner agencies. Students in these programs may be required to have certain vaccinations.  For any questions on vaccination requirements, please email:

Nursing Programs:

Allied Health Programs:

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