Summer 2021: Covid Precautions

We are following CDC and Furman University protocols for ensuring the safety of our students, counselors, staff, and families. The first way we are doing that is by only having one class on campus at a time for the residential program, and observing room capacities set by Furman. (For example, classrooms have a maximum of 25, so classes will be divided in half when taking classes.)

We will require masks to be worn when students are within six feet of each other. Social distancing will be observed whenever possible, and we will spend as much time outdoors as we are able (weather permitting). Most of our staff is fully vaccinated but we will also require negative covid tests for those who are not. We will use Furman's protocols for monitoring health of anyone on campus and actions to take should anyone fall ill.

Below are several of the precautions we are taking, as shared with our students and families. These are taken directly from CDC and Furman guidelines. 

Bridges Steps to Lower the Risk of COVID-19 Spread

COVID-19 is mostly spread through close contact by respiratory droplets released when people talk, sing, breathe, sneeze, or cough. Although less likely, it is possible that people can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own eyes, nose, or mouth. Key prevention strategies for staff and students include

  • Rapid Covid tests upon arrival to Furman before students can move in

  • Covid screenings

  • Getting vaccinated when eligible

  • Staying home if sick or having symptoms of COVID-19

  • Universal and correct use of well-fitted masks that cover the nose and mouth

  • Physical distancing, including cohorting

  • Handwashing and covering coughs and sneezes

  • Engaging in outdoor activities whenever possible and increasing ventilation for indoor activities

  • Cleaning and disinfecting when needed, to maintain healthy facilities

  • Contact tracing in combination with isolation and quarantine, in collaboration with the state, local, territorial, and tribal health departments

 

Hygiene and Prevention Policies:

HAND WASHING

When to Wash or Disinfect Hands – Students and General Staff

  • Before eating food (e.g., when entering the dining area)

  • Upon entering residence halls

  • After being in contact with someone who may have been sick

  • After touching frequently touched surfaces (railings, doorknobs, counters, etc.)

  • After using the restroom

  • After using common items, such as sports equipment, computer keyboards and mice, craft supplies, etc.

  • After coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose

PHYSICAL DISTANCING

Physical distancing is also known as “social distancing.” Physical distancing can allow individuals to safely interact with others. For camps, CDC encourages physical distancing through increased spacing, small groups, and limited mixing between groups, and staggered scheduling, arrival, and drop off, if feasible. Bridges will enforce these guidelines.

 

MASKS

Masks, also referred to as face coverings, are one of the best NPIs available to reduce the spread of COVID-19, particularly when used universally within a community. In camp settings masks should be worn universally by staff and students.  According to CDC, masks are meant to protect other people in case the wearer is unknowingly infected but does not have symptoms. Their use is most essential in times when physical distancing is difficult.  

  • Best practice: students should wear masks universally in all indoor locations other than while eating, sleeping, showering, and brushing teeth. Ensure at least 6 feet of physical distance is maintained between individuals during the limited times when masks are not in use.

  • Best practice: Staff should wear masks universally at all times indoors, unless alone in a private office/room, eating, sleeping, showering, and brushing teeth. Ensure at least 6 feet of physical distance is maintained between individuals during the limited times when masks are not in use.

  • Best practice: Masks should be worn by all students and staff outdoors when at least 6 feet of physical distance cannot be maintained. Masks should be considered and encouraged outdoors for campers and staff at all times when they will be around other people.

  • Students should bring appropriate, reusable masks for their own personal use.

  • Students should wear one mask and have a second one in a sealed plastic bag handy in case the first becomes wet or otherwise soiled during the day.

  • Students should own and maintain a minimum of ten masks so that one or two can be worn each day.

  • Masks should be identified by the student’s name or initials inside.

  • Masks should not be shared with anyone else unless in a case of need; it must be unused and unsoiled.

  • Students will be responsible for maintaining and washing their own masks. Cleaning instructions depend on the cloth used to make the mask. In general, masks can be washed regularly along with general laundry using water and a mild detergent, dried completely in a hot dryer, and stored in a clean container or bag.

  • While wearing masks, students and staff should avoid touching their face and the mask as much as possible.

  • Masks should only be put on, taken off, and handled with clean hands.

  • Ensure that masks completely cover the nose and mouth of all campers and staff and that masks fit snugly and don’t have gaps.

  • Face coverings or masks that have exhalation valves or vents that allow virus particles to escape are not allowed (including gaiters).

  • Individuals not able to wear masks during exercising may benefit from trying alternative styles including specialized athletic masks designed specifically for athletes. According to CDC 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 will 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.

 

RESPONDING TO ILLNESS

The following new symptoms, if observed in a child or staff member are cause for immediate isolation and exclusion from Bridges

  • Fever (100.0° and higher), feverish, had chills

  • Cough

  • Sore throat

  • Difficulty breathing

  • Gastrointestinal distress (Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea)

  • New loss of taste or smell g. New muscle aches

 

The following symptoms, if observed in combination with symptoms above, are cause for immediate isolation and exclusion from camp:

  • Fatigue

  • Headache

  • Runny nose or congestion (not due to other known causes, such as allergies)

  • Any other signs of illness

 

If an individual is identified as a close contact of a COVID-19 positive individual, they must quarantine until they are released by a public health authority (Bridges staff or a medical professional). In general, a close contact will need to quarantine for:

  • 7 days if the individual gets a negative test result on or after day 5, experiences NO symptoms, and continues to monitor for symptoms through day 14.

  • 10 days if the individual experiences NO symptoms and continues to monitor for symptoms through day 14.

  • 14 days if the individual experiences ANY symptoms during the 14 days.

 

If an individual tests positive for COVID-19, they may return to care or work when they have been released from isolation by a public health authority (either the Local Board of Health or the Community Tracing Collaborative). Return will typically be 10 days after symptom onset if the symptoms are improving AND the individual has been fever-free without fever reducing medication for at least 24 hours, or 10 days from test date if the individual is asymptomatic.

If an individual is symptomatic, they should be tested for COVID-19. If a symptomatic individual does not get tested, they may return after 10 days in self-isolation AND their symptoms are improving AND they have been fever-free without fever reducing medication for at least 24 hours. If a symptomatic individual tests negative for COVID-19, they may return to care or work when symptoms begin to improve AND they have been fever-free without fever reducing medication for at least 24 hours.