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COVID-19 Ongoing Evaluation

Sacred Heart Academy will continue to monitor the evolving COVID-19 situation and will take all actions necessary to help keep our community safe and healthy. Our plan will remain aligned with the guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Pennsylvania Department of Public Health (PDPH), Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) Policy Lab, the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), the National Business Officers Association (NBOA) and the Pennsylvania Association of Independent Schools (PAIS). 

As we begin the 2022-2023 school year, COVID-19 will become part of our regular health and safety plan. Our core set of infectious disease prevention strategies will remain in effect as part of normal operations. A COVID-19 Strategy and Management Team will stay in place to monitor and adhere to current and updated regulatory guidelines and recommendations. The team will also manage case counts both on campus and within the local community.

COVID-19 Strategy Team Members

Carla MacMullen, Head of School 
Suzanne Robinson, Safety Coordinator                                                 
Eileen Day, Director of Upper School                                                   
Kimberley Trinacria, Director of Lower/Middle School                         
Tammy Hart, Director of Enrollment Management

Summary of Recent Changes

The CDC announced the following summary of changes to the Operational Guidance for K-12 Schools to support safe in-person learning. (August 11, 2022)

  • Removed the recommendation to cohort
  • Changed the recommendation to conduct screening testing to focus on high-risk activities during high COVID-19 Community Level or in response to an outbreak ie: playing high or full contact sports, attending a concert, a wedding, or a prom
  • Removed the recommendation to quarantine, except in high-risk congregate settings
  • Removed information about Test to Stay
  • Added detailed information on when to wear a mask, managing cases and exposures, and responding to outbreaks
  • Relaxed physical distancing requirements

Stay Up To date On Vaccinations

Staying up to date on routine vaccinations is essential to preventing illness from many different infections. The COVID-19 vaccination helps protect eligible people from getting severely ill with COVID-19. Sacred Heart Academy urges everyone to stay up to date on vaccinations and boosters.

Stay Home When Sick

Staying home when sick can lower the risk of spreading infectious diseases, including COVID-19, to other people. If you have a fever you must be 24 hours fever free without the use of fever reducing medicine before returning to school.

People with COVID-19 have reported a wide range of symptoms – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. Anyone can have mild to severe symptoms.

Possible symptoms include:

  • 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 or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

If you experience any of these symptoms or are exposed to a COVID positive person you must submit a copy of a negative Rapid Antigen or PCR test result to the COVID coordinator, Suzanne Robinson suzanne.robinson@shabrynmawr.org, or your school director before returning. 

If you test positive for COVID-19, stay home for at least 5 days and isolate yourself from others in your home. You are likely most infectious during these first 5 days.

  • Day 0 of isolation is the day of symptom onset, regardless of when you tested positive
  • Day 1 is the first full day after the day your symptoms started

You may end isolation after Day 5 if:

  • You are fever-free for 24 hours (without the use of fever-reducing medication)
  • Your symptoms are improving
  • NOTE: Loss of taste and smell may persist for weeks or months after recovery and need not delay the end of isolation

Upon return from infection, you must wear your mask through Day 10. 

If you learn you were exposed to someone with COVID-19 begin wearing a mask as soon as you find out you were exposed. You may return to school once you submit a copy of a negative Rapid Antigen or PCR test result to the COVID coordinator, Suzanne Robinson suzanne.robinson@shabrynmawr.org, or your school director. Please continue precautions for a full 10 days. You can still develop COVID-19 up to 10 days after you have been exposed.

  • Day 0 is the day of your last exposure to someone with COVID-19
  • Day 1 is the first full day after your last exposure

Mask Optional

Sacred Heart Academy will remain a mask optional school for the start of the 2022-2023 school year. Students, faculty, staff and visitors on campus will have the option whether or not to wear a mask. Students who ride their township bus or public transportation must follow the mask requirements of their school district and local municipality. The school may require masks for periods throughout the school year based on community infection levels or an outbreak on campus.

Ventilation

Sacred Heart Academy made significant improvements to the HVAC system during the summer of 2020. We continue to use high efficiency air filters and an increase in the frequency of changing them.

Hand Hygiene and Respiratory Etiquette

Washing hands can prevent the spread of infectious diseases. We encourage everyone to use the following proper hand washing procedures:                                        

  1. Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
  2. Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
  3. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
  4. Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
  5. Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.

Covering coughs and sneezes and keeping hands clean can help prevent the spread of serious respiratory illnesses like influenza, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), whooping cough, and COVID-19.

To help stop the spread of germs:

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze
  • Throw used tissues in the trash
  • If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow, not your hands

Cleaning

Cleaning with products containing soap or detergent reduces germs on surfaces by removing contaminants and decreases risk of infection from surfaces. Daily cleaning, after school hours, is provided by an independent cleaning company. Additional disinfecting will be added to routine cleaning when there is a positive case of an infectious illness.