Arrival and Quarantine
When students arrive on campus, we will continue precautions for face coverings and physical distancing, as in the fall. Different combinations of quarantine and/or negative COVID-19 test results will be necessary for all students when they arrive. However, they will differ depending on how students travel to campus (Cohort A versus Cohort B).
All students and adults will continue to complete daily screenings on the MyMedBot app.
Testing will be done for Cohort A soon after arrival on campus, and for the entire community soon after the arrival of Cohort B. Subsequent testing will be determined by current circumstances. As of November 17, 2020, all planned testing will be PCR (nasal swab) testing done by our local hospital, Littleton Regional Healthcare.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Each student has received (or, for new mid-year students, will receive) two cloth face coverings supplied by the School at no cost. We suggest that students bring their own face coverings if they prefer a particular type, such as wraparound masks. As a reminder, at the School, neck gaiters and bandanas are not considered to provide sufficient protection for wearers or those in contact with them. The School will also have a supply of disposable face coverings.
We have been purchasing appropriate PPE supplies for students, the Health Center, and Facilities Management as they’ve become available since March 2020, and should be well-outfitted when the second semester begins. We have secured adequate supplies of hand sanitizer and cleaning materials for the time students will be on campus. Additionally, we have equipped the Health Center to deal with daily screening and potential illness on campus.
More frequent cleaning will occur in all campus spaces. Cleaning materials are approved by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for virus prevention, and by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for safe use.
We have also completed an evaluation of our indoor air circulation systems. We have adjusted all of those systems to bring in fresh air and not recirculate existing indoor air.
Where possible, we have created one-way pedestrian traffic patterns to help reduce close physical interactions during passing times indoors.
We have created physical distancing by modifying the use of some spaces, closing other spaces, and designing a class schedule where classes are smaller. Necessary behavioral changes will be described in detail in future communications. Feedback from students will likely lead to some changes for the second semester.
White Mountain has worked closely with our dining services provider, NexDine, to create a safe and healthy dining program to serve the School. We will continue to monitor current conditions and the advice of health experts and adjust our program throughout the year.
Our partnership with NexDine also provides access to additional support and personnel in the event of illness among our current staff.
All NexDine staff complete a thorough screening process informed by the CDC and the State of New Hampshire's Reopening Guidelines before starting each shift. This screening process includes questions about exposure, symptoms, and travel, as well as a temperature check. Employees are expected to remain home if ill and will be sent home if screening reveals that it is unsafe for them to be in the kitchen.
We have purchased the appropriate PPE, and staff completed training on hygiene in food preparation, kitchen hygiene, and cleaning, specifically in light of COVID-19. We have also increased signage throughout the kitchen space to remind all staff of appropriate hygiene. These are additional measures in addition to the regular training and expectations already in place for our dining services.
To minimize potential exposure in the food preparation area, we will continue to limit access to the kitchen area to NexDine personnel and appropriate staff, delivery, and service personnel. All are expected to wear face coverings and practice safe hygiene if in the kitchen area. Students will not have access to the kitchen area, including the dish pit/crew area. Again, we will monitor campus health and released guidelines and recommendations for food service to evaluate this throughout the year and will make changes as appropriate.
Recognizing the implications for health and safety and our interest in sustainable operations, we will continue to utilize a mix of disposable and reusable service ware. Any reusable service ware will only be placed in service if it can go through the dishwasher, which operates at temperatures high enough to sanitize all items thoroughly.
We will continue the elimination all self-service food options until new or modified guidelines are released that allow for this. Instead, we will continue to provide two levels of service: grab-and-go takeout options and a served option in the existing servery. All diners are expected to sanitize their hands and wear a mask when picking up food and traveling through the Dining Hall and servery. We will continue to utilize a combination of single-serve and limited touchless drink options. All diners will be expected to use a new cup when using the touchless drink options, or to use a new, clean cup to pour into their own water bottles or thermoses to take with them outside of the Dining Hall. Again, we will monitor guidelines and external guidance and increase options as appropriate.
Mealtimes will be expanded to allow for lower utilization rates to limit traffic through the dining area and servery.
We have increased seating options to include the McGoldrick Library area, Student Lounge area, and outside seating. All seating will be spaced to ensure appropriate physical distancing between tables with limited seating per table. All eating areas will be monitored by staff to ensure safe practices, and all areas will be sanitized thoroughly between mealtimes.
To limit our students' exposure to external people, no visitors will be allowed into the servery or eating areas—this includes non-employee partners and children. We will monitor guidance and look forward to returning to our community dining experience when it is appropriate.