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COVID

2021-2022 COVID PROTOCOLS & MITIGATION STRATEGIES

The following 2021-2022 Employee Handbook Addendum and 2021-2022 Student & Family Handbook Addendum outlines the COVID Protocols & Mitigation Strategies for the 2021-2022 school year.

The Mount Vernon School cannot prevent faculty/staff members, students, or other family members from becoming exposed to, contracting, or spreading COVID while being on the Lower Campus, Upper Campus, in any MV building, using any MV vehicles or facilities, or attending MV-related activities that take place off campus. The School continues to encourage eligible members of the Mount Vernon community to receive a FDA-authorized COVID vaccine.

Face Coverings

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Outdoors — Preschool through Upper School Students & Faculty/Staff Members

Preschool through Upper School students and faculty/staff members are not required to wear a face covering while outside Mount Vernon facility spaces before, during, or after school.

Indoors — Preschool Students & Faculty/Staff Members

While not required, the School will recommend wearing a face covering, in classrooms and hallways. Supporting all members of our community, we will have available KN95 face coverings and will offer vaccine clinics on both campuses at periodic times. For the time being, Preschool teachers will continue to wear face coverings in classrooms and hallways while caring for Preschool students inside facility spaces. During Chapel and other divisional large gatherings, students will be required to wear face coverings.

Indoors — Lower School Students & Faculty/Staff Members

While not required, the School will recommend wearing a face covering, in classrooms and hallways. Supporting all members of our community, we will have available KN95 face coverings and will offer vaccine clinics on both campuses at periodic times. During Chapel and other divisional large gatherings, students will be required to wear face coverings.

Indoors — Middle and Upper School Students & Faculty/Staff Members

While not required, the School will recommend wearing a face covering, in classrooms and hallways. Supporting all members of our community, we will have available KN95 face coverings and will offer vaccine clinics on both campuses at periodic times.

Transportation — Preschool through Upper School

Based on Georgia Department of Health requirements, all students and faculty/staff members, regardless of vaccination status, are required to wear a face covering going to and from School events and activities while traveling on a bus.

Facilities

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Mount Vernon has established deep-cleaning and disinfection protocols. The School has installed in the HVAC system, in each building, an ionization system intended to remove pathogens, including SARS-CoV-2. Utilizing EPA-certified products, the School on a daily basis disinfects all buildings and equipment on the Lower Campus and Upper Campus.

Hygiene and Respiratory Etiquette

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Practicing prevention, hygiene practices and respiratory etiquette will continue to be promoted consistently throughout the day. Respiratory etiquette includes covering coughs and sneezes with tissues or elbows. No-touch trash cans will be readily available to discard tissues. Upon entering and exiting each building on the Lower Campus and the Upper Campus, faculty/staff, students, parents, and approved visitors will be required to utilize sanitizing stations provided by the School.

Daily Pre-screening Criteria

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Without a requirement to utilize the daily pre-screening app (carpool) or conduct temperature checks at facility entrances, faculty/staff members, parents, students, and approved vendors and visitors are asked to pre-screen themselves before coming to the School and remain at home if meeting one of the following criteria:

  • fever ≥ 100.4 degrees
  • COVID-like symptoms
  • diagnosed COVID positive
  • direct exposure, if unvaccinated, with confirmed COVID positive person

Covid Symptoms

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Individuals with COVID have a range of symptoms, from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-10 days after exposure to the virus. People with any of these symptoms (not exhaustive) may have COVID: fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion, nausea or vomiting, or diarrhea.

If COVID-like symptoms emerge at the School, the individual must contact applicable division administration and depart campus immediately and has three options during quarantine:

  • contact local medical or healthcare professional to provide non-COVID symptom documentation to return to the School or
  • remain at home for 10 days (last 24 hours fever free without fever-reducing medication) or
  • take COVID test: one FDA authorized COVID test with negative results

Note: Any individual who has been fully vaccinated may remain at the School as long as a fever has not been recorded by one of the School’s medical professionals.

COVID Positive

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If a faculty/staff member, student, parent, or approved visitor tests positive for COVID, the individual must notify the School and quarantine at home for 5 days if fully vaccinated or 10 days for unvaccinated from the time the test was administered. The School will maintain confidentiality of the individual.

COVID Direct Exposure

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If someone is identified to have direct exposure due to a confirmed COVID case, faculty/staff members, students, parents, or approved visitors must choose:

1. to quarantine at home for 7-10 days (based on testing) according to current protocol. If the individual decides to quarantine at home, the virtual option will remain in place or

2. to remain at the School symptom-free while aggressively monitoring health condition. Students and faculty/staff members, having maintained the consistent use of wearing a face covering, will have the option to remain at the School unless MV medical professionals determine otherwise regarding exposure or symptoms

Note: Any individual that has been fully vaccinated may remain at the School.

Lunch

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All three cafeterias across both campuses will be reopened for serving lunch to students and faculty/staff members. Each respective division will have thoughtful lunch schedules to de-densify the student population in the cafeterias as much as possible throughout the day. Unless individually approved by the School for medical reasons, students will be prohibited from bringing their own lunch each day. FLIK, the School’s dining partner has collaborated with Mount Vernon to sustain strict kitchen protocols in advance of and throughout the 2021-2022 school year. Flik staff will be required to be vaccinated, and required to wear PPE during food preparation.

Virtual Option

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Communicated in May, the School has amended the virtual option for students. Students required to quarantine due to testing positive for COVID or being directly exposed to a person with COVID will be able to attend class virtually. The virtual option program will be assessed every nine weeks to determine viability in the future.

Parents, Visitors & Vendors

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Parents, vendors, and approved visitors are permitted to come to the School for in person on-campus events. The School requires for all Mount Vernon parents, regardless of vaccination status, to wear a face covering inside MV facility spaces. All vendors and visitors will be prohibited from entering MV facility spaces without wearing a face covering.

Note: At the beginning of the year, a few limitations for parent participation such as lunch and Chapel may exist as we phase into a new school year. See division updates before the beginning of the new year.