Health & Safety
Our highest priority is to ensure the safety of all of our faculty, staff, and students. Walnut Hill is following guidance from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) and other trusted sources in keeping our campus clean and establishing a working and learning environment that will minimize the spread of germs to the greatest extent possible. We are putting the following protocols in place for the return to campus this fall:
To re-open campus for students and employees, it is necessary to ensure the highest health standards on campus. Walnut Hill School for the Arts has an on-campus health center/infirmary directed by an experienced registered nurse with additional staffing by three registered nurses and Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs).
Health Center hours are:
- 7:00AM to 7:00PM, Monday through Friday
- 10:00AM to 2:00PM Saturday and Sunday
- Overnight coverage as needed
Weekly Testing: We will be testing all community members weekly once they start on campus. For students, the initial test will be part of their arrival health screen, with a second test 3-4 days later during which they will quarantine on campus or home (day students). All tests will be PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) oral swabs, done in partnership with Oesis. Adults will be tested as they arrive on campus and weekly thereafter..
Daily monitoring: Every student and every adult accessing campus must complete the daily health screening attestation through “MyMedBot”. Questions will include a brief health assessment, questions about travel, group events and any possible COVID-19 exposure. Failure to complete the attestation will result in students being asked to leave campus immediately, and a pattern of forgetting will result in students completing the quarter remotely.
Health Center: Procedures in the Health Center have been modified due to COVID-19. More information and training will be available during orientation and arrival sessions. In short:
- All medications must be picked up from the health center during “medication hour” from 7:30-8:30 AM, unless prescribed for other times that the nurses will coordinate.
- Appointments must be made to be seen at the health center.
- The nurses will make “house calls” to the dormitories as needed.
- Day students who feel ill must stay at the health center until their parent can pick them up.
- Boarding students who are ill will stay in their single room or in the health center, to be determined by the school nurses.
- When needed, overnight coverage will be provided in the health center.
Any student or adult member of the Walnut Hill community who displays any symptoms of possible COVID-19 infection must consult with the appropriate health care professional. Boarding students will be assessed by the School Nurse who, in consultation with the School Doctor, will determine whether or not testing and/or isolation is necessary. Day Students must be assessed by their personal physician and may not return to campus until they have medical clearance that is approved by the School Nurse. Adult members of the community must be assessed by their personal physician and may not return to campus until they have medical clearance that is approved through Human Resources. Residential faculty and campus residents must quarantine in their apartment and consult with the Dean of Students about next steps.
If a community member is believed to be or confirmed to be positively diagnosed with COVID-19 the following steps will be taken.
- Health Center staff will report to the COVID-19 Response Team* that there is a possible or positive case.
- Health Center staff will communicate as required with the Department of Public Health (DPH).
- Health Center staff will coordinate with the School Doctor next steps for treatment including possible COVID-19 testing.
- Health Center staff will determine the appropriate quarantine for the student.
- Health Center staff will communicate with the student’s parents about the diagnosis and treatment plan.
- Once a student is confirmed positive, they must be picked up from campus by the end of the day. ALL STUDENTS MUST HAVE A GUARDIAN/RELATIVE WITHIN AN EIGHT HOUR DRIVE OF CAMPUS. We expect that students will have to remain off-campus, completing classes remotely as possible, for a minimum of 14 days.
- The Facilities Department will complete the deep cleaning protocol in areas the student has exposed in for the last 48 hours per the DPH guidelines.
- Facilities staff will make sure any space that must be cleaned will be locked and inaccessible until the cleaning is complete.
- Per DPH guidelines Walnut Hill will contact trace for the 48 hours prior to symptoms appearing.
- A member of the Student Life team will communicate with community members as necessary related to the contact tracing. (In consultation with HR as needed)
- Student Life, in conjunction with Health Center staff, will set up any necessary quarantine arrangements for the initial student and any others as required through contact tracing and exposure protocols.
- Once a student is confirmed positive, they must be picked up from campus by the end of the day. ALL STUDENTS MUST HAVE A GUARDIAN/RELATIVE WITHIN AN EIGHT HOUR DRIVE OF CAMPUS.
- Human Resources staff will report to the COVID-19 Response Team* that there is a possible or positive case.
- HR will instruct the employee to either remain home to quarantine or be sent home to quarantine until cleared to return by HR.
- Human Resources will communicate with the employee about their doctor’s recommendation for treatment plan and the need for quarantining/testing