Whatcom County school forced to close doors due to COVID-19 outbreak

A private school district in Whatcom County is forced to close its doors due to a COVID-19 outbreak that happened just weeks into the school year.

Last week, Lynden Christian Schools reported nearly 50 COVID-19 cases in its classes, and 100 plus additional students are out with COVID-like symptoms.

That is more than 10% of the entire student population.

Following a recommendation from the Whatcom County Health Department, the district announced it would close in-person learning for at least two weeks.

Health officials said a big reason for the outbreak is due to Lynden Christian Schools not adhering to the specifics of masking, contact tracing, and disease notification.

"There were aspects of several of the requirements that we struggled with and the prevalence of the delta variant in our community," said Paul Bootsma.

Bootsma is the Superintendent of Lynden Christian Schools.

Students went back to school about a month ago, he said. His goal is to get them back into the classroom as quickly and safely as possible

"We’re really struggling with not being together in person, and feel the responsibility of restoring that as soon as possible," said Bootsma.

Thursday was the first day of a two-week remote learning plan for students. 

During the in-person closure, extracurricular activities are also canceled.

The district and the health department are working together toward a safe reopening. The hope is to get students back in the classroom by the middle of October.


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