Know Before You Go to IP

Fall 2022: Make the IP Community Member Promise

COVID-19 HEALTH AND SAFETY AT ISKWELAHANG PILIPINO

September 9, 2022

We're All in This Together: Participate Responsibly

As Iskwelahang Pilipino returns to in person classes, ensuring the health and safety of our community members remains a top priority. While IP does not currently require proof of vaccination for entry, meeting in person at IP requires some extra care and effort from our community members. Our community is intergenerational and diverse. Many of our families include individuals who are immunocompromised or have medical conditions that place them at higher risk for severe COVID-19 disease. We ask that you keep this in mind and participate responsibly.

IP Community Member Promise

Although coronavirus guidance has been loosened, all community members must agree that neither they nor their guests will enter Iskwelahang Pilipino events and classrooms if they have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 10 days or experienced symptoms of COVID-19 within 48 hours prior to arrival. All volunteers also agree to follow all applicable CDC and DPH guidance and IP COVID-19 protocol in effect on IP school days, rehearsals and community events, including guidance on when to quarantine and wear a mask, and what steps to take when you have been exposed to COVID-19. All participants must complete the IP COVID Self-Check each day within two hours before entering an IP event.

Health & Hygiene

IP COVID-19 Protocols have been updated for Fall 2022

Vaccinations and masks will not be required for entry, except in specific situations where masks are required. Our policy is explained on this page.


Iskwelahang Pilipino COVID-19 Protocols are effective until further notice. This policy applies not only to students, but also to parents, teachers, volunteers, alumni, friends, relatives and guests. If you do not want to follow the protocol you and your family have the option to stay home and attend IP virtual events.


IP continues to stress the importance of getting vaccinated and all our spaces are mask-friendly. IP will have hand sanitizer and air purifiers in all classrooms. For increased ventilation, we will run fans and open windows where possible, as well as hold activities outside. In addition, IP's isolation and exposure protocols use a 10-day timeline, which may be stricter than the guidelines used at your child's school.


There are important things we can all do to protect ourselves and our community from COVID-19. We ask that as a communtiy member you do your part to fulfill the IP Community Member Promise.

  • Secure the required IP Access Pass before coming to IP. (See How To below.)
  • If you are sick for any reason, stay home.
  • Do not return to IP for 10 days following a positive COVID-19 test.

  • Wear a well-fitting mask if you have any reason to suspect exposure
  • When you arrive at IP, check in to confirm your attendance and pick up your family nametags.
  • Wear your required nametags at IP events. Be sure to return it at the end of the day.
  • Be mindful of COVID comfort levels signaled by IP name tag colors described below.
  • Bring a mask for merienda and specific situations where masks are required. (See policy below.)
  • Wash hands on your way in and out of the building, and before eating.
  • Sanitize hands frequently. Hand sanitizer is available in each room.
  • Keep your space clean.
  • If you begin to feel ill, notify the IP Check-In Desk. (You will likely be sent home.)

Iskwelahang Pilipino follows the health and safety guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH). Following those federal and state guidelines, and under the guidance of the IP Covid-19 Working Group, we have implemented a series of health and sanitization policies and procedures to help keep you safe and comfortable while attending IP classes and events. We will continue to update and modify these policies as new guidelines become available.


Questions or concerns should be directed to Myra Liwanag, Executive Director, (myra.liwanag@ipbahay.org) or a member of the IP COVID-19 Working Group (listed below).

IP is Mask-Friendly

IP MASK POLICY


IP classrooms, rehearsal and event venues will be mask-friendly spaces. While optional, masks are strongly recommended with the exception of some specific situations. As we follow the data, we will adjust our mask policies accordingly.

  • Wear a well-fitting mask if you have any reason to suspect exposure.
  • Bring a mask, just in case, even if you don't plan to wear one. Masks are required for singing and buffet lines.
  • IP will have adult and youth masks available if yours needs to be replaced while you are at IP.


Masks will be required indoors at IP in the following instances:

  • When singing.

  • When serving food or going through the buffet line for meals and merienda.

  • You begin to feel ill or exhibit symptoms while at IP. (You will likely be sent home.)

  • You have been exposed to an individual who tested positive for COVID-19. You must wear a mask at IP for 10 days after exposure.

  • You do not have an IP Access Pass, because you failed the self-check, but you can present a negative test. (See What to Do If You Fail below.)


Universal masking may be required for the following situation:

  • When COVID-19 levels are MEDIUM or HIGH as designated by the CDC guidelines, the IP COVID-19 Working Group will review our local metrics and determine if masking should be required. Monitoring will focus on Essex, Middlesex, Suffolk and Norfolk counties, where most of our IP families live, work or go to school. It is likely that if numbers are high, masking will be required. If this decision is made, IP will notify families and staff that universal masking will be required until Community Levels return to LOW.


IP recommends that individuals regardless of vaccination status should wear a properly fitted CDC-approved face mask indoors if you have a weakened immune system, or if you are at increased risk for severe disease because of your age or an underlying medical condition, or if someone in your household has a weakened immune system, is at increased risk for severe disease, or is unvaccinated. IP strongly recommends vaccination as the best way for an individual to reduce the risk of severe COVID-19 illness.

HOW TO GET AN IP ACCESS PASS

Complete the online self-check to secure a one-day IP Access Pass before leaving home for IP

To get an IP Access Pass you must complete the online IP COVID-19 Individual Self-Check by responding to questions regarding COVID-19 symptoms, exposure and testing. You need an IP Access Pass for each day you come to IP. (Click button below to access the online form or go to https://forms.gle/E19hhk2R5KKU7ZL27).


The online form has been updated and is intended for individuals, not the whole family at once.


You can complete the form for a child. One form must be completed for each individual from your household attending IP today no more than TWO HOURS BEFORE ARRIVAL. A link is provided in the box below.


These are the evaluation questions:

  1. TESTING - In the last 10 days, have you had a positive or pending COVID-19 test?
  2. EXPOSURE - In the last 10 days, have you been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19?
  3. SYMPTOMS - Are you currently experiencing, or have you experienced within the last 10 days, any COVID-19 symptoms?


If you respond "Yes" to one or more of the evaluation questions, you should stay home or show proof of a negative COVID-19 test AND WEAR A MASK at IP.


CALCULATING WHEN YOU CAN RETURN TO IP

You need to stay home from or show a negative test if you test positive or are exposed to COVID-19. To calculate when you can return to IP:



  • Day 0 is the first day of symptoms OR day the positive test was taken, whichever is earlier
  • Day 10 is the last day you have to stay home without a negative test
  • Day 11 is the day you can return to IP without a mask. No negative test is needed to return after 10 days since the first positive test.





You may return to IP before Day 11 if you meet all three of the following criteria:

  1. You are asymptomatic or your symptoms are resolving and you have been fever free without the use of fever-reducing medicine for 24 hours.
  2. You can strictly adhere to wearing a CDC-approved mask at IP to protect our community. A mask is required for 10 days following exposure in this situation.
  3. You provide written or digital proof of a negative COVID-19 test.
Get your IP Access Pass for today

IP requires a family self-check for COVID-19 symptoms. Within 2 hours before arrival, complete this online form to get your pass. Go to https://forms.gle/E19hhk2R5KKU7ZL27

What to do if you fail the COVID-19 Self-Check

If you respond "Yes" to one or more self-check questions, you are NOT ELIGIBLE FOR AN IP ACCESS PASS unless you can present a negative test result.


HERE ARE THE OPTIONS:


A) If you have tested positive, you may not return to IP in-person gatherings until day 11 following your positive test. If you are asymptomatic or symptoms are resolving and you have been fever free without the use of fever-reducing medicine for 24 hours, you may return to programming on day 11. (See illustration below.) Email ipbahayboston@gmail.com if you would like information on joining virtual events.


B) If you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 but have no symptoms, regardless of vaccination status, you may continue to attend IP programming as long as you remain asymptomatic and present a negative test result. You are required to wear a mask at IP for the first 10 days following the exposure.


C) If you are symptomatic with a suspected COVID-19 exposure, you should stay home from IP for 10 days. You may return to IP earlier if you meet all three of the following criteria:

  1. You are asymptomatic or your symptoms are resolving and you have been fever free without the use of fever-reducing medicine for 24 hours.
  2. You can strictly adhere to wearing a CDC-approved mask at IP to protect our community. A mask is required for 10 days following exposure in this situation.
  3. You provide written or digital proof of a negative COVID-19 test. (See acceptable tests below.)


Acceptable COVID-19 tests include:


  • A COVID-19 antigen test (rapid test) within 24 hours of arrival. At home tests will be accepted.
  • A COVID-19 PCR test within 72 hours of arrival.


Attendees may display proof of a monitored test on a smartphone or present a physical copy. For at home tests, a timestamped picture of the negative test must be shown.

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When to Stay Home and When to Return

Please be advised, IP's isolation and exposure protocols use a 10-day timeline, which may be stricter than the guidelines used at your child's school.


INDIVIDUALS WHO TEST POSITIVE FOR COVID-19 SHOULD STAY HOME from IP for at least 10 days following the positive test. If they are asymptomatic or symptoms are resolving and they have been fever free without the use of fever-reducing medicine for 24 hours, they may return to programming after Day 10. (See illustration below.)


INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE EXPOSED TO SOMEONE WITH COVID-19 BUT HAVE NO SYMPTOMS, regardless of vaccination status, may continue to attend IP programming as long as they remain asymptomatic and present a negative COVID-19 test. They are required to wear a mask at IP for 10 days following the exposure.


SYMPTOMATIC INDIVIDUALS WITH A SUSPECTED COVID-19 EXPOSURE should stay home from IP for 10 days. They may return to IP earlier if they have been fever free without the use of fever-reducing medications for 24 hours AND with improvement of symptoms AND a negative test on the day of return to IP. They are required to wear a mask for 10 days following the exposure.

Before you check in, assess your COVID comfort level

Please consider your comfort level for interacting with others at this stage in the pandemic. We have received feedback that this makes interaction a little easier after being apart for so long.


  • When you arrive, you will be asked to choose the nametag color that corresponds with your comfort level (stoplight colors).
  • Parents must choose a comfort level for the whole family.
  • Families may change their comfort level at check-in for the next IP event.
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ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

1) IP Access Pass Secured within 2 Hours of Arrival at IP

The IP Access pass is issued upon successful completion of the online IP COVID-19 Individual Self-Check. Please do this before you leave home for IP. See "How to Get an IP Access Pass" above.


If you fail the self-check, but do not have symptoms, you may be able to attend IP without an IP Access Pass. You MUST meet all 3 of the criteria described above under "What to Do If You Fail the COVID-19 Self-Check."

2) Check In Required Upon Arrival at IP

IP must track attendance at in-person events, rehearsals and meetings. When you arrive, proceed to check in first.


Check-in is run by volunteers. We appreciate your patience! We learn more each time we run check-in and are doing our best to improve the process. If you'd like to volunteer to help out, please let us know.

3) Mask Requirement for Certain Situations

Bring a mask, just in case, even if you don't plan to wear one. Masks are required for singing and buffet lines. See IP Mask Policy above for a list of situations when masks are required.


All masks must comply with the CDC guidelines for acceptable face coverings. (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/about-face-coverings.html)

4) Nametag Requirement

Your nametag indicates that you are "official" and have met entry requirements.


  • Family nametags will be distributed at check-in.
  • Your nametag color communicates your COVID comfort level.
  • We encourage you to take advantage of nametags and call each other by name!
  • Return your nametag at the check-in area before you leave.

COVID-19 Working Group

Purpose

The COVID-19 Working Group is charged with coordinating IP's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Membership

It is made up of IP parents, teachers and administrators, as well as board members who work in the medical field. We have been working together since February 2020.


Suggestions, Questions and Concerns

Contact any member of the group.


Members

Lourdes Ada, rucela1221@yahoo.com

Gregory Halloran, greg.halloran@gmail.com

Elsa Christiansen Janairo, elsa.janairo@gmail.com

Myra O. Liwanag, myra.liwanag@ipbahay.org

Suzzette Oglesby, 3sjoglesby@comcast.net

Michelle Lazaro Payumo, michlazaro@gmail.com

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What are the COVID-19 Symptoms we should be concerned about?

COVID-19 Symptoms Checklist


You must stay home if you are currently experiencing any of the symptoms listed below:


  • Fever (100.0° Fahrenheit or higher), chills or shaking chills
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Muscle aches or body aches that are not exercise related
  • Cough (not due to other known cause)
  • Sore throat, when in combination with other symptoms
  • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea when in combination with other symptoms
  • Headache, when in combination with other symptoms
  • Fatigue, when in combination with other symptoms
  • Nasal congestion or runny nose (not due to other known causes, such as allergies) when in combination with other symptoms


If family members do not have symptoms, you have the option to provide written or digital proof of a NEGATIVE COVID-19 TEST for each family member attending today.

How are IP's COVID-19 policies and procedures developed?

Iskwelahang Pilipino's COVID-19 policies and procedures have been developed with the input of the IP COVID-19 Working Group.


  • Our protocols use layered prevention strategies designed to protect all our community members, especially children who may not be eligible to be fully vaccinated and members of our diverse, intergenerational community who may be high risk for severe COVID-19 illness.
  • We regularly review our policies and update them based on public health guidance and applicable law.
  • We design our in-person classes and events to make use of outdoor space where possible without interfering with the learning process and to provide families with the flexibility to do what makes them feel comfortable and secure.
  • We will continue to offer virtual IP activities periodically, so that families who do not feel comfortable joining in person can maintain their connection with the IP community.


Any member of the IP community who wants to opt out of following the protocol has the option to stay home and attend IP virtual events.


Questions or concerns should be directed to Myra Liwanag, Executive Director, (myra.liwanag@ipbahay.org) or a member of the IP COVID-19 Working Group.

Connecting Filipino Families for 46 Years and Counting

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