Please take a few moments to review our Updated Travel Guidance which is effective immediately.
As the pandemic has evolved, guidance for schools has come from various sources, and many times has been contradicting in nature. We’ve done our best to navigate the last several months with student and staff safety as our top priority, in conjunction with providing a top-notch on-campus educational experience for our children.
When the announcement was made by the Governor that NH would be removing the quarantine requirement and replacing it with a recommendation, it was several days later that the updated guidance came from the DHHS. At the time, we had families who were mid-travel/vacation in areas such as Texas and Florida. We have concerned staff who deserve our support in providing a layer of protection while also easing quarantine restrictions. While we understand the need for the state to begin to slowly open up we are also seeing an increase in exposures and in cases, as reflected in the increase in numbers across New England. We do not believe that now is the time to remove all restrictions. We will continue to monitor what is happening around our area and make adjustments as time goes on. From other families who have recently traveled, PCR tests are returning in 24 hours or so. For those fortunate enough to travel, we felt that removing the quarantine requirement but maintaining a level of protection with the PCR test, was a happy medium, for now.
Given recent changes in travel recommendations, World Academy is modifying its travel policy, effective immediately. (This policy includes travel over the Easter Weekend)
The requirement remains unchanged for international travel (defined as outside the 50 states) or travel by cruise ship. Students who do so must still quarantine for 10 days, or until a negative PCR test is obtained starting on the 5-7th day since return. We don't recommend travel in this category.
For students who travel within the United States, the quarantine is necessitated based on the nature of the travel, types of transportation, and locations visited. Families who plan trips carefully should be able to avoid the need to quarantine or get a PCR test.
Students who travel on public transportation will require a negative PCR test upon return.
We strongly recommend that students quarantine for 7-10 days or obtain a negative PCR test after travel involving (1) regions with a much higher level of infection than NH/MA, (2) gatherings with individuals from different households/regions, (3) time spent in indoor locations where masks were not worn, and (4) time spent in crowded airports, restaurants, amusement parks, and other travel hubs. We hope this encourages good decision-making when traveling.
Regarding the risk level of different regions, the best source for this information for travel in the Northeast is the State of Vermont's Travel Risk Map. For travel around the country, you can refer to the CDC COVID Data Tracker.
As will increasingly occur throughout the spring and summer, this change replaces a rigid rule with common sense. As an example, a student who takes a family visit road trip to Western New York, where rates are currently similar to NH/MA, avoids crowded restaurants, and is mostly in locations where masks are worn could likely avoid a quarantine and return to school. A different student, flying to a distant "dark blue" region on the CDC map, traveling through a busy airport and on a full plane, spending time in crowds where masks are not worn, and attending a large indoor family gathering with households from around the country, would be expected to quarantine or get a PCR test. A student who completes that latter trip and does not quarantine or get a PCR test would be putting the ENTIRE school community at risk.
It was announced today that those who are fully vaccinated are able to travel, domestically, without worry. This is yet another reason to get the vaccine!
We are expecting that all in our World Academy family protect each other by doing the proper thing. Changing the facts to us will endanger your child and every other who sits next to him/her every day. All will become evident if protocol is not followed, and your students will be watching you for guidance about the honest and best practices as a family. Every community member remains responsible for ensuring that COVID STOPS with us! Thank you for your cooperation with this policy!!
Kathy and Lisa
President and Head of School