COVID-Time Health Policies 2021-2022
Face coverings are optional for all students, faculty, staff, and guests at Providence Academy and on its grounds. Face-coverings are required on buses, as transportation is governed by outside authorities. Participants in MSHSL competitions, and PA attendees at “away” events, may also be governed by differing face-covering expectations.
Should any family wish special face-covering mitigation for their children, KN95 masks are widely available and known to provide substantial personal protection against viruses.
Providence Academy does not require COVID-19 vaccinations. Adults at PA make determinations regarding vaccinations for themselves and their families.
- Providence Academy will maintain all HVAC upgrades and procedures introduced last year: MERV-13 filtration, increased airflow from outside, UV lamps with ionization technologies in all air systems, and overnight “building flushes” to begin each day with fully purified, filtered, and disinfected air.
- Students will be seated three feet or more apart in classrooms.
- Lunchroom seating arrangements will provide three feet of distance between persons.
- Hand sanitation stations will be accessible throughout school, and Providence encourages thorough hand washing.
- Surface sanitizing sprays or wipes will be available in all classrooms.
Lab-Confirmed Cases of Covid, and Quarantining
- Students, faculty, and staff with lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 will quarantine/isolate at home. If they are symptomatic, they must stay home for at least 10 days from the time the symptoms started, and until symptoms have improved, and they have had no fever for 24 hours without using fever-reducing medications. If they are asymptomatic, they should stay home for 10 days, counting from the day they were tested.
- When a lab-confirmed case of Covid occurs in a Lower School classroom, where students are present together throughout the day, Providence will notify families of students in that classroom via email.
- Providence will provide a “Covid Dashboard” webpage, which will be routinely updated to provide current information about lab-confirmed numbers by grade level throughout the school.
- Providence Academy will not conduct contact tracing, unless it determines that circumstances necessitate it.
- Providence will not mandate quarantining of students who may have been in close contact with a Covid-positive member of the PA community. Quarantining will be optional, with SimulClassroom arrangements available, for families who wish to take additional precautions.
- If there is a household member who tests positive for COVID, a student in that household will need to quarantine for 10 days. Day 1 begins the day after the positive family member tests positive. The quarantined student may return to school on day 11. The student must be free of symptoms and have a negative PCR test result. The test can take place as early as day 8 (results can take as long as 2 days to receive).
- Updated Guidance as of December 27, 2021 (per CDC): People who test positive “should isolate for 5 days and if they are asymptomatic or their symptoms are resolving (without fever for 24 hours), follow that by 5 days of wearing a mask when around others to minimize the risk of infecting people they encounter.” PA has pursued a mask-optional policy this year, and continues to do so. Thus, we invite families and members of the faculty and staff to choose between this new recommendation, which involves a masking period, and PA’s policy promulgated in August: “Students, faculty, and staff with lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 will quarantine/isolate at home. If they are symptomatic, they must stay home for at least 10 days from the time the symptoms started, and until symptoms have improved, and they have had no fever for 24 hours without using fever-reducing medications. If they are asymptomatic, they should stay home for 10 days, counting from the day they were tested.” Our health office may be consulted on this and all other COVID matters.
Providence community members should stay home or go home if they are sick. All parents are asked to do daily health checks with students before sending them to school. We recommend testing for COVID if the student exhibits
(1) one or more of the “more common” symptoms: fever of 100.4 or higher, new or worsening cough, difficulty breathing, new loss of taste or smell; or
(2), two or more of the “less common” symptoms: sore throat, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, chills, muscle pain, extreme fatigue, new serious headache, new nasal congestion or runny nose.
If a family opts not to test for COVID in these situations, the student exhibiting symptoms will need to quarantine as if they had the illness. If the student is tested for COVID and the result is negative, they may return to school once fevers have abated for at least 24 hours without fever-reducing medications, symptoms have significantly improved, and they feel well enough to come back.
If a P.A. community member is sick with symptoms of COVID and is unable to be at school, then siblings and other family members will also need to remain outside of school with the following exceptions:
if the sick community member tests negative for COVID
If the sibling/family member is fully vaccinated.
If the sibling/family member was infected with COVID in the last 90 days and it was reported to the school at that time.
If a quarantining family member tests positive during the ten days of quarantine, the “clock” is re-set to five days after the positive test.
These policies are subject to revision, by governmental mandates or through PA’s own assessment of emerging health and safety concerns for our community.