January/February 2022 Updated COVID Safety Plan

Dear Makom Community Parents,

Thank you for all you have done to keep our families and our educators safe through this surge. This has been a particularly challenging season. We are excited to see COVID numbers coming down in Philadelphia. Here is an update on our plan, more like what we had anticipated before Omicron. This will take effect on Monday January 31. If you have any questions, please be in touch with Beverly. 

Update beginning January 31, 2022

Here’s what the next stage of our safety plan will be, beginning Monday January 31, 2022:

  • Please continue to wear a high-filtration mask. 
  • Please continue to stay home if you have any cold or COVID-like symptoms. 
  • If another member of your household is exposed to COVID-19, that will no longer affect your Makom student’s attendance at Makom. 

In case of close contact for a fully vaccinated (and boosted if applicable) student or educator, you CAN continue to attend Makom AND…

  • Monitor closely for symptoms. 
  • Test on day 4 after exposure. (See note below on PCR & rapid testing.) 
  • If even one symptom appears, isolate at home and test. (See below for testing details.) 

If your Makom student tested positive for COVID-19:

You can return after…

  • 7 days AND a negative rapid test 

OR

  • 10 days in isolation, return to programming on day 11 (with symptoms resolving or resolved).

Testing. Both rapid tests and PCR tests are helpful here. If you’d like to use a rapid for post-exposure or early symptomatic testing, please note that we are requiring two rapid tests 24 hours apart. Only one rapid test is needed for people who are a few days into symptoms or are testing after having had COVID to determine when to return.

  • Testing after exposure
    • Rapid test on day 4 and day 5. 

OR

  • PCR on day 4.
  • Testing after COVID to exit isolation before 10 days
    • PCR or rapid on day 7

Quick note:

  • End of day dismissal is outdoors only until case and positive counts are lower. We are not inviting any extra people into our space right now. We miss you, beloved grownups!
  • We’re taking a break from Family Shabbat Celebrations until case numbers are more under control, at least through the month of February . 

 

Thank you again for all your help to keep our whole community safe,

Beverly

————

The remainder of this safety plan continues to be the same:

Arrival Procedure

As children and staff arrive each day, they will come in, put their things down, and go straight to wash hands before doing any other activities in our space. 

Snacks & Singing

Since we have early reports that Omicron has transmitted outdoors, snack will happen outdoors while kids are walking to Makom Community or seated in our outdoor space with children 6 feet apart from each other. When staff prepare snacks, they will wash hands first, wear gloves, and continue to be masked as they do any food preparation work. All snacks will be served with serving utensils or gloved hands, by an adult. 

Tefilah will be indoors with a priority on ventilation. That could mean students in the Ionic Street classroom in Center City with the doors wide open for fresh air or the center room in South Philly with the doors wide open for fresh air. *Warm layers will be helpful for this too. 

Cleaning & Ventilation 

Each classroom (students and staff) will be assigned to a single bathroom. We have regular professional cleaning. Each classroom is fully equipped with a HEPA filter that is kept running 24 hours a day. When possible, we will keep classroom doors or windows open for additional ventilation. 

Communication Plan

As always, we want to keep parents in the loop about what is going on with their kids! We will let you know if there is a known positive case at Makom Community. We will share the age group the child or staff member is in so you have a good understanding of how likely it is that your child was (or was not) exposed. 

Reminder: Parents are agreeing to inform Makom Community immediately if…

  1. Your child has COVID-19 symptoms.
  2. Your child has come into contact with someone COVID-19-positive or presumed positive. Close contact means 15 minutes or more within a 6ft indoor distance of someone symptomatic, presumed COVID-19 positive, or confirmed COVID-19 positive.
  3. Their child is waiting for the results of a COVID-19 test.

Parents who knowingly do not report these issues to Makom Community are subject to their child’s removal from Makom Community programming. 

Responding to observed symptoms

If we observe a child or staff member with symptoms that could be COVID-19, they will 

be quarantined in our space until they can be picked up, outdoors with a staff member if possible. We understand that we are still in the midst of cold and flu season. If your child has any two symptoms, no matter how mild, we ask that you not send them to Makom Community. Even if what they have is a cold and not COVID-19, sharing it among our students and staff would keep more people out of our programming. We are trying to make sure to keep as many of us at Makom as possible. If a child is symptomatic at Makom, parents will be called immediately. We ask that you pick up as soon as possible in this scenario. A symptomatic staff member will be sent home immediately.

In case of exposure

If your child’s elementary school grade or classroom is sent home due to exposure, they also need to stay home from Makom Community. If one sibling in your family is sent home due to exposure at their school, we are asking you to keep home all the children in your family from Makom programming. 

All of our staff and 5+ year old students will be fully vaccinated by early January. This includes boosters for staff. In a case where a vaccinated student or staff member is exposed, they are not permitted to continue at Makom regardless of whether they are symptomatic. This is growing out of recommendations from our medical team around the vaccinations’ limitations in the face of Omicron. 

Thank you for helping to keep our Makom Community students, teachers, and families safe during this strange and stressful time. We’ll hold each other through this and find lots of joy together, even amidst this ongoing stress.

—————–

FAQ’s

  • A student in my child’s grade at school tested positive for COVID-19. The school did not tell us which class the child was in or that we are a close contact. Can my children attend Makom? 
    • Since you were not informed that you were a close contact, you may still be at Makom Community for programming.
  • Our school has a test to stay policy. If our child tests negative on an at-home test, can they still attend Makom after exposure?
    • Thankfully we are now a fully vaccinated (kids and teachers) program. If your child is exposed and symptom-free, they are welcome to continue to attend programming. If they have even one symptom, please keep the home and get them tested.
  • What happens if our family of vaccinated parents and children learns that we were exposed to a fully vaccinated individual who tested positive for COVID-19? 
    • If none of you have any symptoms, please test on day 4 after exposure. 
    • If you have symptoms, get tested, quarantine, and be in touch with your doctor.
  • What happens when my child has a runny nose during cold and flu season? 
    • A runny nose is just one symptom, so they can attend Jewish Enrichment as long as there is not a known exposure. If they arrive at Jewish Enrichment, and share with an educator that they have another symptom, or an educator observes another symptom, we will call you and ask you to come pick up your children immediately. Then you would need to follow quarantine procedure.
  • If I pick up my kids from Jewish Enrichment because an educator observes two or more symptoms or my child is complaining of not feeling well with two or more symptoms, when can they return to Jewish Enrichment?
    • After 10 days in isolation, return to programming on day 11

OR

    • After 7 days + negative rapid test taken on day 7 or afterward

If you ever have any questions about possible exposure or if your children can attend Jewish Enrichment, please call us! We are here to get through this together. 

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