York Country Day School will take preventative measures to help mitigate the risk of COVID-19 infection with guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Pennsylvania Department of Health, and other resources. Cleaning and disinfecting schedule
There will be increased cleaning across campus by our custodial services team. The frequency and type of cleaning for each space will be determined by its purpose and volume of use. Many academic spaces will be cleaned often throughout the day, and more common spaces will be cleaned twice per day. Designated high-traffic areas, such as door handles, hand railings, and restrooms, will be cleaned multiple times per day. Antiseptic wipes will be available in classrooms. Custodial services has ordered antiviral fumigation equipment to use regularly.Face coverings
All community members will be expected to wear face coverings while on the YCDS campus, in classrooms, and outside. Students will be given many face covering breaks throughout the day. Students are expected to have several face coverings available for use each day in case one is soiled during the academic day.
Face coverings should:
Fit snugly but comfortably against the face
Be secured with ties or ear loops
Allow for breathing without restriction
Be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape
The School will have a supply of disposable face masks should one be needed.
Face coverings must be either a solid color or pattern. Face coverings should not contain writing, logos (other than brand logos), symbols, or content resembling Halloween or what can be interpreted to be frightening in nature.
Face shields can be worn in certain instances for students and faculty with recommendations from a health provider. A discussion with a health provider can serve as an insightful conversation as one considers best options and recommendations for specific health-related concerns. Please contact Colleen Simpson
, YCDS School Nurse, to discuss a request for face covering policy accommodation.
According to many health agencies, face shields are not a substitute for masks rather an additional safeguard.
Below are the most recent (as of 8/14/2020) recommendations related to face coverings from leading health organizations:
AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) Covering Guidance:
The following guidelines are recommended for wearing cloth face coverings:
Face coverings should cover both your nose and mouth and should be well-fitted to minimize gaps around your nose and chin.
Cloth face masks should have at least two layers (three layers when possible). Studies have shown a double-layer cloth face covering was significantly better at reducing the droplet spread caused by coughing and sneezing, as compared to a single-layer mask.
When mandatory face covering requirements are in effect, they should account for differences in the way the coronavirus spreads indoors versus outside:
The use of face coverings is critically important when indoors. Superspreader events, in which an infected individual causes many subsequent infections, are likely to occur indoors.
Everyone two years of age and older should wear a mask indoors around people who do not live in their household, including in elevators, restaurants, cars, buses, and airplanes.
All businesses open to the public, no matter how limited, should insist that all customers wear masks while indoors
- Everyone 2 years of age and older should wear a mask in public settings.
- When outdoors and expecting to be around others, the safest option is to wear a mask, even when briefly passing by others (e.g., running or walking by someone on the sidewalk).
If you are outdoors and not expecting to be around others, masks are not needed.
Avoid nonessential activities and gatherings that bring people within six feet of each other or cause a more forceful exhalation, such as playing sports or singing, with or without face coverings.
CDC Face Covering Guidance:
A mask may not protect the wearer, but it may keep the wearer from spreading the virus to others. COVID-19 spreads
mainly from person to person through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, talks, or raises their voice (e.g., while shouting, chanting, or singing). These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Recent studies
show that a significant portion of individuals with COVID-19 lack symptoms (are “asymptomatic”) and that even those who eventually develop symptoms (are “pre-symptomatic”) can transmit the virus to others before showing symptoms. To reduce the spread of COVID-19, CDC recommends that people wear masks in public settings when around people outside of their household, especially when other social distancing
measures are difficult to maintain.
Why it is important to wear a mask:
Masks may help prevent people who have COVID-19 from spreading the virus to others. Wearing a mask will help protect people around you, including those at higher risk of severe illness
from COVID-19 and workers who frequently come into close contact with other people (e.g., in stores and restaurants). Masks are most likely to reduce the spread of COVID-19 when they are widely used by people in public settings. The spread of COVID-19 can be reduced when masks are used along with other preventive measures
, including social distancing
, frequent hand-washing, and cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces.
The masks recommended here are not surgical masks or respirators. Currently, those are critical supplies that should be reserved for healthcare workers and other first responders. Masks are not personal protective equipment (PPE). They are not appropriate substitutes for PPE such as respirators (like N95 respirators) or medical facemasks (like surgical masks) in workplaces where respirators or facemasks are recommended or required to protect the wearer.
CDC recommends that people wear masks in public settings and when around people who don’t live in your household, especially when other social distancing
measures are difficult to maintain.
Masks may help prevent people who have COVID-19 from spreading the virus to others.
Masks are most likely to reduce the spread of COVID-19 when they are widely used by people in public settings.
Masks should NOT be worn by children under the age of 2 or anyone who has trouble breathing, is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
Masks with exhalation valves or vents should NOT be worn to help prevent the person wearing the mask from spreading COVID-19 to others (source control).
Masks are recommended as a simple barrier to help prevent respiratory droplets from traveling into the air and onto other people when the person wearing the mask coughs, sneezes, talks, or raises their voice. This is called source control. This recommendation is based on what we know about the role respiratory droplets play in the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19, paired with emerging evidence
from clinical and laboratory studies that shows masks reduce the spray of droplets when worn over the nose and mouth. COVID-19 spreads mainly among people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet), so the use of masks is particularly important in settings where people are close to each other or where social distancing is difficult to maintain. CDC’s recommendations for masks will be updated as new scientific evidence becomes available.
Feasibility and Adaptations
CDC recognizes that wearing masks may not be possible in every situation or for some people. In some situations, wearing a mask may exacerbate a physical or mental health condition, lead to a medical emergency, or introduce significant safety concerns. Adaptations and alternatives should be considered whenever possible to increase the feasibility of wearing a mask or to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spreading if it is not possible to wear one.
People who are deaf or hard of hearing — or those who care for or interact with a person who is hearing impaired — may be unable to wear masks if they rely on lipreading to communicate. In this situation, consider using a clear mask. If a clear mask isn’t available, consider whether you can use written communication, use closed captioning, or decrease background noise to make communication possible while wearing a mask that blocks your lips.
Some people, such as people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, mental health conditions or other sensory sensitivities, may have challenges wearing a mask. They should consult with their health care provider for advice about wearing masks.
Younger children (e.g., preschool or early elementary aged) may be unable to wear a mask properly, particularly for an extended period of time. Wearing of masks may be prioritized at times when it is difficult to maintain a distance of 6 feet from others (e.g., during carpool drop off or pick up, or when standing in line at school). Ensuring proper mask size and fit and providing children with frequent reminders and education on the importance and proper wear of masks may help address these issues.
People should not wear masks while engaged in activities that may cause the mask to become wet, like when swimming at the beach or pool
. A wet mask may make it difficult to breathe. For activities like swimming, it is particularly important to maintain physical distance from others when in the water.
People who are engaged in high intensity activities, like running, may not be able to wear a mask if it causes difficulty breathing. If unable to wear a mask, consider conducting the activity in a location with greater ventilation and air exchange (for instance, outdoors versus indoors) and where it is possible to maintain physical distance from others.
People who work in a setting where masks may increase the risk of heat-related illness
or cause safety concerns due to introduction of a hazard (for instance, straps getting caught in machinery) may consult with an occupational safety and health professional to determine the appropriate mask for their setting. Outdoor workers may prioritize use of masks when in close contact with other people, like during group travel or shift meetings, and remove masks when social distancing is possible. Find more information here
Masks are a critical preventive measure and are most essential in times when social distancing is difficult. If masks cannot be used, make sure to take other measures to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spread, including social distancing, frequent hand washing, and cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces.
Masks with Exhalation Valves or Vents
The purpose of masks is to keep respiratory droplets from reaching others to aid with source control. However, masks with one-way valves or vents allow air to be exhaled through a hole in the material, which can result in expelled respiratory droplets that can reach others. This type of mask does not prevent the person wearing the mask from transmitting COVID-19 to others. Therefore, CDC does not recommend using masks for source control if they have an exhalation valve or vent.
A face shield is primarily used for eye protection for the person wearing it. At this time, it is not known what level of protection a face shield provides to people nearby from the spray of respiratory droplets from the wearer. There is currently not enough evidence to support the effectiveness of face shields for source control. Therefore, CDC does not currently recommend use of face shields as a substitute for masks.
However, wearing a mask may not be feasible in every situation for some people for example, people who are deaf or hard of hearing — or those who care for or interact with a person who is hearing impaired. Here are some considerations for individuals who must wear a face shield instead of a mask. Although evidence on face shields is limited, the available data suggest that the following face shields may provide better source control than others:
Face shields that wrap around the sides of the wearer’s face and extend below the chin.
Hooded face shields.
Face shield wearers should wash their hands before and after removing the face shield and avoid touching their eyes, nose and mouth when removing it.
Disposable face shields should only be worn for a single use and disposed of according to manufacturer instructions.
Plastic face shields for newborns and infants are NOT recommended.
Masks are not surgical masks or respirators. Currently, those are critical supplies that should continue to be reserved for health care workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance. Masks also are not appropriate substitutes for them in workplaces where surgical masks or respirators are recommended or required and available.
Community members will practice physical distancing in combination with other everyday preventative actions to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Physical distancing will be employed at all times, in all spaces for all community members.
In order to promote physical distancing on campus, YCDS Community spaces, including the student lounge, senior lounge, study rooms, dining and living rooms, and couch areas, will be allocated to cohorts. Communal spaces will not be used by mixed cohorts and will be assigned to specific cohorts as described below. Disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer stations will be available in areas throughout the building.
Community members will wash hands frequently throughout the day. Additional no-touch hand sanitizer dispensers are installed throughout the building, along with touchless soap and paper towel dispensers in the restrooms. Signage is placed throughout the campus on best practices.
All students will eat lunch within their grade-level cohort in their designated classrooms or outside spaces. Both hot and cold lunch selections will be offered, and selection will be electronically submitted by parents two weeks in advance through the lunch order system. Chartwells will box all student lunches, and deliver to student cohorts during regular lunch times. Students must supply their own snacks for snack time. Lunches from home can be sent with students, if a family chooses.
All water fountains will be turned off throughout campus. Students will be expected to bring a refillable water bottle to school each day. Students may refill their bottles at one of our many contactless water refill stations in the building.
Arrival and departure
The School has designated five access points for student cohorts to enter and exit the building each day to promote physical distancing. Detailed information related to drop-off and pickup will be shared by Division Heads in August.
Social and Emotional Health
We will continue to prioritize student social-emotional wellness as your child transitions back to school and throughout the coming year. Mr. Thomas Nemetz, Coordinator of Mental Health and Wellness, will be working collaboratively with all community members to provide support and address the possible emotional consequences of the epidemic. We will continue and enhance Responsive Classroom methods, advisory, and both grade and virtual divisional assemblies to address issues that impact our students, our communities, and current events that impact the lives of our students.