On August 12, 2021, the Governor of Virginia and the Virginia Health Commissioner issued a requirement that all individuals aged two and older must wear masks when indoors at all K-12 schools, including private and parochial schools; therefore:
All individuals are asked to wear their masks when indoors at Episcopal.
Masks are not required outdoors, unless specified for very large group gatherings.
All members of the EHS community who wish to wear a mask as a risk mitigation measure will be encouraged to do so, regardless of their vaccination status.
We are not sure how long this mandate from the Governor may remain in place. Given these new orders, the School is reaching out to the state officials to discuss the unique position of Episcopal as a 100% boarding school with a controlled environment and a projected 90%+ community vaccination rate. Our hope is to be able to loosen masking requirements in certain scenarios, but we must adhere to the legal requirements of the State of Virginia. We will keep you informed as we know more.
In addition to the State guidelines above:
Students will not be required to wear masks when in their dorm room; however no more than four students may be in a room together.
Students will also not wear masks when eating in Laird Dining Hall.
Masks are not required when outdoors, unless specified for very large group gatherings.
Gaiters are not considered permissible face coverings/masks.
Stricter mitigation measures will be in place as we navigate the first two weeks of the school year and complete the return-to-campus testing.
Students will not be allowed to leave campus prior to September 13 without special permission from the Dean’s Office unless they are traveling with an Episcopal team to an athletic contest or Episcopal faculty for a planned School outing. Read more here about athletics protocols.
After September 13, pending return-to-campus testing results, regular leaves from campus will begin — including weekend activities, academic trips during the daytime flex block, trips to the Center, and day leaves. More information will be shared closer to that date about procedures and approval processes for our various leave types, and, in the meantime, can be found in the Student Handbook.
Students will be asked to wear masks in all public indoor settings.
Students are asked to avoid eating food indoors in public restaurants when possible.
Regardless of vaccination status, all students will be required to take a Covid-19 test on day four following an overnight leave.
Should we have a positive Covid-19 diagnosis on campus:
Students with a positive diagnosis will isolate off-campus* for 10 days.
Unvaccinated students designated as a close contact with a positive individual will quarantine off-campus for 10 days and will not be able to participate in school activities; however, if student tests negative on Day 7, quarantine ends and they may return to campus and resume all activities on Day 8*. These students will be supported academically by the faculty.
Vaccinated students identified as close contacts with a positive individual do not isolate but will be tested 3-5 days after the date of exposure. They will continue with their school activities.
All symptomatic students, regardless of vaccination status, will be tested for Covid-19.
* Students placed in quarantine or isolation are expected to leave campus, in the care of a family member or guardian, within 24 hours.
Communication about Covid-19 Cases on Campus
Should we have a positive case of Covid-19 on campus, all individuals who are affected and their families will receive communication from the School’s Health Center. These communications will include all who are designated close contacts per the CDC guidelines.
As is our ongoing practice, we will be transparent in our Covid-19 communications. Should any occasion arise that warrants communication to all families, rest assured it will be conveyed in a timely way. The health and safety of all members of our community is always our highest priority.
Communication about Covid-19 Testing Results
We will share the results of the post-arrival testing once all students have returned to campus; however, with no recurring all-School testing taking place, we have discontinued the weekly results dashboard used last year.