2021-2022 School Year: COVID-19 Updates
- HEALTH AND SAFETY: SUSPECTED AND CONFIRMED COVID-19 CASES
- Daily Screening and Weekly PCR Testing
- Visitors on Campus
- Wellness and Support
- Guidelines For Student Participation in Club Sports
What is the protocol if there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 on campus? How will I be notified?
The School’s first call will be to the Baltimore City Department of Health who will help support Gilman with contact tracing and associated quarantining requirements. Please see this flow chart (on page 11) for more detail about how decisions will be made. If there is a confirmed case and your son is considered a close contact, you will receive an email from School Nurse Edie Meacham RN with additional information. You are also encouraged to check the School’s COVID-19 dashboard which will be updated daily with exposure and confirmed case information.
What happens if someone in my son’s class tests positive for COVID-19?
If someone in your son's class tests positive for COVID-19, the School will be notified and we will follow state and local guidelines. Our first call will be to the Outbreak Coordinator at the Baltimore City Health Department so that she can help us respond appropriately. If your son is considered a close contact, you will receive an email from School Nurse Edie Meacham RN with additional information. You are also encouraged to check the School’s COVID-19 dashboard which will be updated daily with exposure and confirmed case information.
What happens if my son tests positive for COVID-19 and is showing symptoms?
Students who have tested positive for COVID-19 and are showing symptoms must stay home for a period of ten (10) days since symptoms first appeared and 24 hours have passed with no fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and other symptoms of COVID-19 are improving.
What happens if my son tests positive for COVID-19 and is not showing symptoms?
Students who have tested positive for COVID-19, but do not develop symptoms, must stay home for a period of ten (10) days following their positive viral test for COVID-19.
What happens if my son is in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19?
For unvaccinated students exposed in school: The CDC has issued an exemption from quarantine for unvaccinated students who are exposed to COVID 19 in the classroom if the students were wearing masks consistently and maintaining social distancing of at least three feet. In such cases, the School Nurse will consult with the local health authority to determine whether the exemption can be applied. This exemption does not extend to non-classroom settings.
For unvaccinated students exposed outside of school: Upon learning of the exposure, the School Nurse should be contacted so that necessary contact tracing can commence, if necessary. If an unvaccinated student is exposed to COVID-19 outside of school, the best option is to quarantine for 14 days. However, based on guidance from the CDC, the following options to shorten quarantine may be an acceptable alternative depending upon local circumstances:
Quarantine can end after day 10 if no symptoms have been reported during daily monitoring; or
Quarantine can end after day 7 if a diagnostic specimen (collected on day 5 or later) tests negative and if NO symptoms have been reported during daily monitoring. The specimen may be collected and tested within 48 hours before the time of planned quarantine discontinuation, but quarantine cannot be discontinued earlier than after day 7.
When students meet these criteria and quarantine is ended early, all of the following must be implemented:
Daily symptom monitoring continues through day 14;
Students are counseled regarding the need to adhere strictly to all recommended mitigation strategies including correct and consistent face mask use, physical distancing, and self-monitoring for symptoms of COVID-19 through day 14;
Students are advised that if any symptoms develop, they should immediately self-isolate and contact their health care provider to determine if they need to be tested and how long they should be excluded from school.
For fully vaccinated students: Students who have been fully vaccinated do not need to quarantine after they have had close contact with someone with COVID-19 unless they develop symptoms. Similarly, students who have had COVID-19 in the previous three months and (1) have recovered and (2) remain without COVID-19 symptoms do not need to quarantine after they have had close contact with someone with COVID-19. Vaccinated students who have been in close contact with a positive COVID-19 case must take a PCR test on or after Day three (3) and wear a mask until negative results are received. Exposure must be reported to the School Nurse so that she can monitor for symptoms when the person is on campus.
How will you decide if/when to close campus?
A decision to close campus will be based on a number of factors, including public health conditions, the extent to which positive tests affect the number of people able to remain on campus, and our ability to staff on-campus programs.
What can we do to help the School mitigate risk?
A tremendous amount of health and safety protocols have been put in place, as outlined in our Health and Safety Guide. That said, we cannot eliminate risk. To help reduce the COVID-19 exposure at school, Gilman asks all families to limit their risk, which includes hosting or attendance at large gatherings, events (sporting and other), and other activities where social distancing is not possible. Practice and reinforce good hygiene at home.
Will students, faculty, and staff be screened before coming to school each day?
On a daily basis, parents will be required to take their son’s temperature and answer questions about symptoms and exposure through Ruvna (a link will be pushed out each morning). A student who has a temperature higher than 100.0⁰ F must not come to school. All Gilman employees will also use Ruvna to submit a daily health screening.
What is involved with weekly COVID-19 PCR testing?
The School has partnered with Capital Diagnostics to provide weekly PCR testing via a gentle nasal swab for unvaccinated employees and students. This testing will take place on Thursday of each week. Testing times are being scheduled around lunch, break, or recess time, so there will be minimal impact, if any, on classroom time.
Parents will register their child for testing at the beginning of the school year. Once testing begins, parents will receive an email, typically within 24 hours, if results are negative. In the case of a positive result, Capital Diagnostics will call the family to speak with them about next steps. Gilman’s School Nurse will be notified of all test results, as well.
The School reserves the right to expand this testing to vaccinated individuals on campus should it be deemed necessary (ex: continued breakthrough cases, groups who have a higher likelihood of close contact like athletic teams, return from holiday breaks, etc.).
Will face coverings (masks) be required?
Yes, in accordance with Mayor Scott’s mandate, masks will be required while indoors. Masks must be well-secured and constructed of cloth that fully covers a person’s nose and mouth and fits snuggly to the sides of the person’s face. This does not include gaiters, material with visible holes or gaps like lace, knitted material, crochet, and/or mesh. Face coverings with exhalation valves should not be used as they allow unfiltered air to escape. For more information visit: CDC: About Cloth Face Coverings.
During the 2021-2022 school year, the School will permit limited visitors on campus. In order to maintain appropriate social distance, employees or students who wish to bring a visitor to campus must obtain prior approval from their respective Supervisor or the Headmaster. This would only be in the case(s) where the visitor would be in close contact with students (ex. reading to a class or setting up for a classroom event). Permission does not need to be obtained in cases where there is no direct student contact (ex: Parents Association meetings, parent dropping off a forgotten item at the front desk).
Spectators at athletic events will be allowed.
All approved visitors must comply with the School’s protocols when on campus, regardless of their vaccination status. This includes wearing a protective face covering, maintaining social distance, disinfecting their hands prior to entering the building and confirming a lack of symptoms, fever, and exposure to COVID-19.
What will lunch look like? What is the process?
Hot and cold meals will be prepared and served by Flik, the School’s food service partner. All food will be served and/or prepackaged. There will be no self-serve options (ex. salads and soups, if offered, will be prepackaged). Face coverings will be worn at all times except when students are seated and eating.
As you may know, COVID-19 is spread through respiratory droplets, therefore, removing masks to eat indoors can carry a higher risk for transmitting the virus. Because of this, there are tented areas outside of the Lower School and dining hall, and we will encourage students and employees to eat outside and maintain at least three (3) feet of distance whenever possible. The additional outdoor eating spaces (see below) will allow for those people eating indoors to maintain appropriate distancing.
Outdoor dining areas include:
Lower School Pre-K: dedicated space outside of their classrooms, near the playground.
Lower School Grades K-1: tent outside of the Stevens Room.
Lower School Grades 2-5: tent outside of the dining hall.
Middle School, Grade 6: tent outside of the dining hall.
Middle School, Grades 7-8: tables in/around Harris Terrace.
Upper School: tent outside of the dining hall as well as at the tables in/around Harris Terrace.
In addition, the cafeteria ventilation system meets, and in many cases exceeds, standards for reducing airborne infectious aerosol exposure. The system allows for 7-8 air exchanges per hour and is set at an outside air intake rate of 60%. The system is also equipped with MERV 13 filters and a UV lights to remove and eliminate viral particles.
Will my son be able to bring his own lunch?
Yes, your son may bring his own lunch to school, though please understand that it must be shelf-stable (refrigerators and/or microwaves will not be available). Food items also must be nut-free. No food can be delivered from parents or delivery services. If your son forgets his lunch, he will be given one by Flik.
Christina Kim - Director of Wellness and Support
Stephanie Dennis - Director of Academic Services
In general, club teams and rec sports organizations should have a COVID-19 plan available for parents to review before their son is registered. This is especially important for indoor sports.
A comprehensive plan should include:
Restrictions on participation when sick
Screening procedures (like temperature and or symptom checks)
Restrictions on participation when exposed to the virus
Mask guidelines for participants and coaches
Distancing guidelines for participants and coaches
Availability of handwashing stations or hand sanitizer
Separation of equipment on the sidelines
Restrictions on sharing equipment, food or water bottles
No centralized hydration or snack areas
Restrictions on spectators
Restrictions on physical contact like high fives, elbow bumping, etc
Specific sports may have additional restrictions.
Once parents have reviewed their son’s team plan, they should monitor to be sure that the requirements are being followed. If they are not satisfied that guidelines are being followed, they should discuss with the coach or organization. If that does not yield results, they should consider withdrawing their son from the team.
Club Sports Travel:
We ask that students and employees use mitigation strategies like social distancing, face covering, hand hygiene, and, in general, avoid risky situations. If individuals are not able to comply, they should have a COVID-19 PCR test three to five days after returning and quarantine while awaiting test results.
Please consult the CDC’s website to check your specific destination and follow the recommendations for testing and quarantine: COVID-19 Travel Recommendations by Destination.
We ask that students and employees use mitigation strategies like social distancing, face covering, hand hygiene, and, in general, avoid risky situations. If unvaccinated individuals are not able to comply, they should have a COVID-19 PCR test three to five days after returning.
For international ravel: Please consult the CDC’s website to check your specific destination and follow the recommendations for testing and quarantine: COVID-19 Travel Recommendations by Destination.