Health Services

Good morning,                                                    
Many of our students, staff and families are hearing reports of concerns for the COVID-19 virus in the Sequim School District and our community.

Clallam County Public Health is tracking our community concerns closely. Please go to this website for the most up to date information:

“Helping children cope with anxiety requires providing accurate prevention information and facts without causing undue alarm.” At this site you will find an excellent resource for Talking to Children About COVID-19 (Coronavirus):



Sonja Bittner BSN, RN
Sequim District School Nurse
Secure fax (360)683-0901
Allison Berry Unthank, MD, MPH, Clallam County Health Officer, has confirmed the following information today:

  • The virus only lives for 2 hours on surfaces.
  • Over 90% of those infected with the virus will recover without any medical attention.
  • It takes prolonged exposure (several hours) within 6 feet of someone infected with COVID-19 and who has symptoms in order for you to become infected.
  • Health officials currently believe that if you are asymptomatic, then you are not contagious.

Sonja Bittner BSN, RN
Sequim District School Nurse
Secure fax (360)683-0901

School Resources for Novel Coronavirus  


Many parts across the world are experiencing an expanding outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel coronavirus. This virus can spread from person-to-person and the number of cases detected in the United States and many other countries is growing.

Currently, the immediate risk to the general public in Washington and the United States is considered to be low.

What is a coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that usually cause mild respiratory illnesses such as the common cold. Some coronaviruses have caused more severe illness, such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). COVID-19 is a disease caused by a new coronavirus that was not identified in humans before December 2019.

What are common symptoms of COVID-19?

Patients with COVID-19 have had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of fever, cough, and shortness of breath. It takes 2 to 14 days after a person gets the virus in their body to become ill. COVID-19 is a new disease, and we are learning more each day about its symptoms and how it is spread.

How does the virus spread?

Most often, it is spread from person-to-person via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, similar to how flu and other respiratory pathogens spread. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

It's currently unclear if a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or their eyes. Often, with most respiratory viruses, people are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest).

Who should seek medical evaluation for COVID-19?

Students, staff, and volunteers who are:

  • Ill with a fever, cough, or difficulty breathing AND have traveled from China in the last 14 days.
  • Ill with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing AND have been identified by public health officials as a recent close contact of a confirmed COVID-19 case or had recent close contact with someone who is being evaluated for COVID-19 infection.

What should I do if I suspect a student, staff member, or volunteer is at risk for COVID-19?

If a student, staff member, or volunteer meets the above criteria, it is important to place them in a private room away from others and ask them to wear a face mask. Immediately notify your local health department. They will provide you with guidance.

Should children returning from China stay home from school for 14 days?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all travelers from China (including school students, staff and volunteers) arriving in the United States AFTER February 2, 2020 at 2 p.m. stay at home, away from others, and monitor their health for 14 days. This measure was put in place because of the increasing number of cases of COVID-19 in China. If these individuals develop a fever, cough, or difficulty breathing during this 14-day period, they should call their local health department and healthcare provider to tell them about their symptoms and recent travel.

What can I do to prevent COVID-19 infections in my school?

Schools do not need to take any special precautions beyond what is normally recommended to prevent the spread of viruses in schools. You can help students and staff reduce their risk for getting and spreading viral respiratory infections, including the flu and the common cold, by encouraging them to take simple steps which will also prevent COVID-19. These include:

  • Staying home when they are sick.
  • Frequent hand washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after they blow their nose. Help young children do the same. If hands are visibly dirty, use soap and water to clean hands.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Advising persons to avoid touching their eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Following the school's routine cleaning and disinfection program. Emphasizing to clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Covering coughs or sneezes with a tissue, then throwing the tissue in the trash and cleaning hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer (if soap and water are not readily available).
  • Urging students and staff to get a flu shot during the flu season.
  • Providing adequate supplies for good hygiene, including clean and functional handwashing stations, soap, paper towels, and alcoholbased hand sanitizer.

Cleaning and Disinfecting Procedures

Special processes beyond routine cleaning are not necessary nor recommended to slow the spread of respiratory illness. Schools should follow standard procedures for cleaning with third party certified “green” cleaners and disinfecting with an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) registered disinfectant with a claim for human coronaviruses. Typically, this means daily sanitizing surfaces and objects that are touched often, such as bathrooms, water coolers, desks, countertops, doorknobs, computer keyboards, handson learning items, faucet handles, phones and toys.

Disinfecting is the responsibility of school custodial staff. They are trained to use disinfectants in a safe and effective manner and to clean up potentially infectious materials and body fluid spills – blood, vomit, feces, and urine. Contact your custodian or school nurse if students are ill and your classroom needs cleaning and disinfection.

Clean the surface first to remove all organic matter. Custodial staff should follow the disinfectant manufacturer’s instructions for use including:

  • Using the proper concentration of disinfectant
  • Allowing the required wet contact time
  • Paying close attention to hazard warnings and instructions for using personal protective items such as gloves and eye protection
  • Using disinfectants in a sufficiently ventilated space

Schools and districts must have a Safety Data Sheet (SDS) for each chemical used in the school.

Where can I turn for more information?


As with any newly emerging infectious disease, knowledge evolves with time. Early on, it is difficult to know the ways in which the disease spreads, how effectively it spreads from person to person, and how severe the infection is. We will continue to update the Novel Coronavirus Outbreak website as more information becomes available. 

Health Conditions

If your child has a potentially life threatening health condition, we need a new care plan and if needed, an authorization for your child to have a medication at school, each school year. The school lists most life threatening health conditions as asthma with a rescue inhaler, allergy with an EpiPen prescribed, seizures, diabetes with insulin and heart conditions.

All forms must be completed & signed by parent and licensed health care provider (LHCP) and received in your child’s school health room prior to classes starting on the first day of school. If an emergency medication is prescribed, they need to have the medication on the bus as well.

Please be aware that the forms can be found under each health concern in this webpage under  >Parent forms for Student Health Conditions. 

If your child has had an emergency medication in the past, but you feel they no longer need it, then we have to have a LHCP note stating that they no longer need the medication at school.

The School Nurse will be available during regular school hours starting August 26, 2019. Please call Sonja at 360-477-7728, with any questions or concerns.
Clallam County Department of Health and Human Services

111 E. 3rd Street-Port Angeles, WA 98362_ Phone 360-417-2303- Fax 360-452-

From:   Allison Berry Unthank, MD, MPH, Clallam County Health Officer

  *** NOTICE ***

MMR Vaccine Exemption Law Change 2019

In 2019, the Washington State Legislature passed a bill that removes the personal and philosophical option to exempt children from the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine required for school and child care entry. The bill was signed into law by Gov. Jay Inslee on May 10, 2019.

We know there is great interest in the effects of this law. The department is working on interpreting the new law. Once we know the scope of the final law, we will begin the form change process. At that point we will communicate with interested groups to share next steps.

This page contains quick information and resources on this change to school and child care immunization requirements. Find more detailed information in theFrequently Asked Questions. As more information becomes available, we will share it.

As we prepare for the new law to take effect, we’ll continue our work in helping parents and the public understand the safety record of vaccines and the critical role they have in saving lives.

Law Change Quick Facts

  • The new law will take effect July 28, 2019 and applies to public and private schools.
  • The law also requires employees and volunteers at child care centers to provide immunization records indicating they have received the MMR vaccine or proof of immunity.  
  • This law does not change religious and medical exemption laws. Children who have one of these types of exemptions on file are not affected by the new law.
  • Access your family’s immunization records if you need to check whether you or your child meets the MMR vaccine requirements.
  • This law will not affect most students. More than 9 out of 10 kindergartners in Washington are complete with both doses of MMR vaccine, and 96 percent of 6th graders have both doses. These students, along with those who have medical or religious exemptions, will notice no change from the new exemption law.


Health Services staff will be performing school vision and hearing screening for grades Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th and 7th grade students. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

Thank you,

Sonja Bittner RN
District Nurse


Sequim School District Annual Vision and Hearing Screening

WAC 246-760-020

Frequency for schools to screen children.

(1) A school shall conduct auditory and distance vision and near vision acuity screening of children:

(a) In kindergarten and grades one, two, three, five, and seven; and

(b) Showing symptoms of possible loss in auditory or visual acuity and who are referred to the district by parents, guardians, school staff, or student self-report.

(2) If resources are available, a school may:

(a) Expand vision screening to any other grade;

(b) Conduct other optional vision screenings at any grade using evidence-based screening tools and techniques; or

(c) Expand vision screening to other grades and conduct optional vision screenings as outlined in (a) and (b) of this subsection.

(3) If resources permit, schools shall annually conduct auditory screening for children at other grade levels.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 28A.210.020. WSR 17-03-009, § 246-760-020, filed 1/4/17, effective 7/1/17. Statutory Authority: RCW 28A.210.200. WSR 02-20-079, § 246-760-020, filed 9/30/02, effective 10/31/02. Statutory Authority: RCW 43.20.050. WSR 91-02-051 (Order 124B), recodified as § 246-760-020, filed 12/27/90, effective 1/31/91. Statutory Authority: RCW 28A.31.030. WSR 87-22-010 (Order 306), § 248-148-021, filed 10/26/87.]





Sequim School District
Health Services Staff
Contact Us

School Nurse 
Sonja Bittner BSN, RN

Health Services Specialist 
Ardis Mangano

Helen Haller Health Clerk
Cherie Hendrickson

Helen Haller Health Clerk
Cassie Cobb

Middle School Health Clerk
Jennifer Meysenburg

High School Health Clerk 
Celene Frick

Greywolf Health Clerk
Jane Sallee