Health and Safety
St. Mark’s School is committed to providing the safest possible environment for all members of the community. The Health & Safety Task Force, made up of faculty and staff members, will continue to monitor local, state, national, and international public health guidelines and coordinate with the School’s consultants and peer schools. The following are some health and safety protocols in place to help reduce the risk of transmission of the COVID-19 virus.
- Masks are to be worn at all times when indoors, barring specific exceptions noted below.
- Required vaccinations and a very high number of fully vaccinated individuals
- Diagnostic and screening testing
- Enhanced ventilation and filtration
- HEPA filters in certain areas
- MERV-13 filters in HVAC systems
- Bi-polar ionization added to HVAC systems in various buildings
- Good hand-hygiene practices
- Using additional spaces outside of the cafeteria for mealtime seating to reduce density
- Remaining at home when sick
- Contact tracing in combination with quarantine and isolation
The Health & Safety Task Force utilizes the following process method below when determining what specific protocols should be put in place and will continue to assess these policies and protocols often with assistance from the consultants at EH&E.
Face Covering Guidelines
It is expected that everyone on campus wears a face covering when in School buildings, on School grounds, and on School transportation.
Since the primary route of transmission for COVID-19 is respiratory, masks or face coverings are among the most critical components of risk reduction. Wearing masks or face coverings, along with proper hand hygiene and social distancing, can help to mitigate transmission of COVID-19. Wearing a mask or face covering acts as a barrier and helps to prevent the spread of the virus.
Specific Mask Guidelines
A face covering that covers the nose and mouth must be properly worn by all individuals in School buildings, on School grounds and on School transportation.
When you wear a cloth mask, it should:
- Cover your nose and mouth
- Fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
- Be secured with ties or ear loops
- Include multiple layers of fabric
- Allow for breathing without restriction
- Be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to the shape
Face Coverings to Avoid
“Gaiters,” “buffs,” bandanas, face shields, and masks with valves do not provide the same level of protection to others and are not acceptable face coverings for campus use. A recent well-publicized study is found here and is the basis for the decision about these types of face coverings. Face shields may be worn in addition to a mask, but not in lieu of a mask. In addition, masks with one-way valves or vents allow exhaled air to be expelled out through holes in the material. This can allow exhaled respiratory droplets to reach others and potentially spread the COVID-19 virus. Therefore, these masks are not acceptable unless the exhalation valve or vent is filtered to a minimum 95 percent efficiency.
Other Mask Guidelines
Mask designs should follow guidelines around existing community standards (RUSH: Respect, Understanding, Safety, and Honesty), and dress code. The Office of the Dean of Students will provide additional guidance on this. If you have questions or concerns about the choice of a face mask to be worn on campus, please contact the Director of Health Services Adria Pavletic at email@example.com.
COVID-19 Testing, Quarantine, and Isolation