HEALTH and SAFETY
Update on Travel Order (3/22)
The travel order in Massachusetts has now been changed to a travel advisory. Post-travel testing is still required unless the person traveling is out of the state for less than 24 hours or is fully vaccinated.
Update on Mask-wearing (2/11)
On February 9, the CDC shared guidance to improve mask-wearing protection against Covid-19.
Masks work best when everyone wears them, but not all masks provide the same protection. When choosing a mask, look at how well it fits, how well it filters the air and how many layers it has.
- Masks should completely cover the nose and mouth and fit snugly against the sides of the face without gaps. Make sure no air is flowing from the areas near the eyes or from the sides of the mask. A nose wire can prevent air from leaking out of the top of the mask.
- Always wear a mask with multiple (two or three) layers to keep your respiratory droplets in and others’ out. (Nobles requires a minimum two-layer mask at all times).
- A cloth mask can be layered on top of a medical procedure mask (forming a “double mask”) for improved fit and filtration. The outer mask should push the inner mask against the face.
Blue medical procedure masks are always available at the main entrance front desk, middle school front desk, Library and Health Office for any Nobles community member who would like an added layer beneath their current mask to improve fit and filtration.
Update on Travel Policy (12/17)
Nobles Covid-19 Travel Policy
We greatly appreciate the careful adherence Nobles families have had to Massachusetts travel requirements.
Domestic Travel: All Nobles community members who travel domestically must continue to follow the Massachusetts travel order requirements prior to returning to school.
International Travel: All Nobles community members who travel internationally must additionally adhere to CDC travel guidelines for the specific destination regarding testing and quarantine upon return.
Testing: Only PCR tests are acceptable forms of post-travel testing at Nobles. Post-travel PCR results must be sent into the Nobles Heath office prior to returning to campus.
Update on Travel Order (12/7)
Adhere to the latest travel orders, including those that currently specify the need to quarantine for 14 days when returning to Massachusetts from most states in the country or produce a negative PCR test result that has been administered up to 72 hours prior to arrival in Massachusetts. Test results must be submitted prior to returning to campus.
Update on Testing (12/7)
Currently (as of December 2020), we are conducting PCR testing weekly for all community members who are on campus in person. Depending on the developing situation and on what testing improvements, such as rapid saliva testing, become available, we expect our testing protocol will evolve. We will keep you informed of any changes.
Update on Group Gatherings (12/7)
Adhere to current MA Indoor and Outdoor Gathering orders
Update on the Covid-19 Travel Policy (12/7)
Effective August, 1, 2020, all visitors and returning residents entering Massachusetts must follow new travel orders. https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-travel-order.
All families must monitor state guidelines on travel, be aware of the restricted travel states (which may be continually changing), and must adhere to the most updated policies from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Test results must be submitted to the Health Office prior to a student’s return to campus.
Update on the Quarantine Requirement for Close Contacts (12/7)
Closely aligned with MA DPH guidelines – PLEASE NOTE: Nobles will only accept PCR test results (not rapid antigen test results) Updated 12/7/20
14 days of strict quarantine: release on Day 15 if the individual has experienced any symptoms during the quarantine period EVEN if they have a negative COVID test
10 days of strict quarantine: release on Day 11 if the individual has not experienced any symptoms up to this point AND conducts active monitoring through Day 14. No test is necessary under this option.
7 days of strict quarantine: release on day 8 if a test (PCR ONLY, not rapid antigen) taken on Day 5 or later is negative AND the individual has not experienced any symptoms up to that point AND the individual conducts active monitoring through Day 14.
Discounted Covid Testing for Students' Family Members (12/7)
We are thankful to a Nobles parent for helping us arrange to make available to all Nobles family members a discounted rate for Covid-19 testing in Kendall Square, Cambridge.
Offered by CIC-Health as part of the Assurance Testing Alliance (ATA), the test is a PCR test processed at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and uses a quick and comfortable nostril swab. Sample collection takes about 3 minutes and there are no lines as slots are scheduled in advance. Test results are typically available in less than a day.
To reserve a test go to the CIC-Health website, click on “Schedule a Test”, and enter the code CICHEALTH. Once you fill in the requested information you can select a reservation time from the available slots and then use the Group Password (coupon code) SafeNobles to drop the price to $70. Each individual getting tested needs a unique email ID. Minimum age for testing is 2 years old.
Update on the Definition of a Close Contact (10/27)
Close Contact (CDC, 10/2020)
Someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period* starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days prior to test specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated.
* Individual exposures added together over a 24-hour period (e.g., three 5-minute exposures for a total of 15 minutes). Data are limited, making it difficult to precisely define “close contact;” however, 15 cumulative minutes of exposure at a distance of 6 feet or less can be used as an operational definition for contact investigation. Factors to consider when defining close contact include proximity (closer distance likely increases exposure risk), the duration of exposure (longer exposure time likely increases exposure risk), whether the infected individual has symptoms (the period around onset of symptoms is associated with the highest levels of viral shedding), if the infected person was likely to generate respiratory aerosols (e.g., was coughing, singing, shouting), and other environmental factors (crowding, adequacy of ventilation, whether exposure was indoors or outdoors). Because the general public has not received training on proper selection and use of respiratory PPE, such as an N95, the determination of close contact should generally be made irrespective of whether the contact was wearing respiratory PPE. At this time, differential determination of close contact for those using fabric face coverings is not recommended.