The School’s immunization and communicable illness policy requires students and employees to receive a seasonal flu shot once it is available. Flu clinics are scheduled on campus for late September/early October for all campuses and more information will be communicated in the coming weeks. In the face of a global pandemic caused by a novel coronavirus, seasonal flu shots play an important role by reducing the incidence of influenza, which results in symptoms similar to COVID-19.
The effectiveness of these vaccines may vary from season to season. The protection they provide depends on the age and health of the person receiving the vaccine, and the degree of match between the viruses used to produce the vaccine and the viruses in circulation. Despite variations in these vaccines’ effectiveness, every year they prevent millions of influenza illnesses, tens of thousands of hospitalizations, and thousands of deaths.
All students and faculty will complete daily symptom checks and report their status via the SchoolPass app. PK-12 day families and boarding students should purchase digital oral thermometers to use in reporting their daily temperature. Our nurses will be equipped to take the temperature of any community member who may become ill or manifest concerning symptoms while on campus.
Any community member who experiences a fever of 100 degrees (or two degrees above their baseline body temperature), or who would likely experience a fever were it not for medication, or who has other symptoms of possible COVID-19 virus infection, should:
- be isolated immediately;
- contact their doctor, or have their parent or guardian contact the family’s pediatrician;
- call or email the School nurse; and
- not come to campus under any circumstances (or not leave their dormitory room, in the case of a boarding student) until granted explicit permission by the School nurse to do so.
Families or emergency adult contacts of PK-12 students must be prepared to keep their ill children at home, or retrieve them from campus swiftly should they suddenly fall ill during the school day.
The School nurse, in consultation with a student’s pediatrician, will determine how long that student must stay away from campus. Students obligated to be away from campus will keep up with school work via Canvas and direct communication with their teachers, to the degree that their condition permits.
This level of vigilance is necessary to minimize the possibility of COVID-19 spread in our community and is now common practice across the United States at independent schools. Given our experience this spring, we are confident that a combination of high vaccination levels and mandatory testing of the unvaccinated will enable us to prevent disruption and allow us to experience a relatively normal school year.
In the event of a positive student case, Stevenson will reach out to those who have been in close contact with that student, along with the other students in that division (names and other identifying details will not be shared). Close contact is defined as anyone who has spent 15 minutes or more, over a 24 hour period, within 6 feet of a person who tested positive for COVID-19, while they were contagious. We will continue to adhere to state and county guidelines as it is updated in this regard.