Dear Stakeholders,

As news of the coronavirus evolves, we remain committed to the health and safety of our students and staff. Currently both, Massachusetts and Rhode Island have declared a state of emergency. In accordance with the elevated risk, we will have to increase our preventative measures. We believe it is important to start taking more aggressive action now to mitigate infection. While we realize our efforts to mitigate risk will be disruptive, we must remember that the health and safety of our student population and staff is are our priority. We expect this disruption to continue for the foreseeable future and understand it will cause inconvenience for many. However, our goal is to significantly decrease the risk of infection at our program.

What does this mean?

We ask you to understand the predicament we are in. Whitney Academy is currently the home of many students, who are in close proximity of each other at all times. Many of our students have medical conditions which make them more susceptible to viruses than others. Given our student population, we need to take every precaution to keep our students and staff safe.

Activities

All off-site activities are canceled until further notice (i.e. mall trips, movie theaters, sporting events with other schools etc). More necessary and safe off-site activities will be approved in advance. (However, to maintain social interaction and involvement we will continue to do what we can within our residences). We will continue to utilize our Recreational Director and our talented staff to come up with educational, fun, and healthy activities to do onsite.

Education

The school building will remain closed until further notice. This will be evaluated on weekly bases; however, education still remains a priority. We are holding educational instructions at all our residences for all students.

Treatment

While health and safety are our top priority, treatment will also continue. While this will require us to tailor how these services are delivered, they will continue. Our clinician and medical team will continue to provide services to all out students while taking necessary safety precautions into consideration.

Visits / Overnights

We are asking families, stakeholders, and visitors to understand Whitney Academy is home to many students, with varying degrees of diagnoses. Given the current outbreaks we are asking all external parities to refrain from visiting. While we typically encourage folks to be here and support our students during their treatment, a single visit from an infected person can place the entire facility at risk.

We will also be canceling and not be providing transportation for any type of visits for the duration of this outbreak. If a visit is deemed essential by the clinical team caring for a particular student, and under the guidance of the Infection Control Committee, the visitor will be permitted to visit our facility if they abide by the following safety measures:

Preventative Measures

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid shaking hands even in a business setting.
  • Use a face mask when necessary
  • Have your temperature taken once a shift

 

Again, we sincerely thank you for your understanding and commitment during this difficult time. We will continue to adjust and improve our services under pandemic.

Thank you,

The Whitney Academy Team