Dec. 29, 2021

Dear Chatham Hall Community,

Happy (Early) New Year! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, and are looking forward to several more days of rest and relaxation. 

Given the recent introduction of the COVID-19 Omicron variant across the globe, I’ve had many questions regarding our January campus reopening. First and foremost, please know that we are keeping a very close eye on all developments and will continue to communicate with you via email should any of our plans change further.

To date, we are all preparing for and expecting for students to return to campus on Jan. 4. We ask that any families able to have students tested prior to return please do so, and those with positive tests quarantine at home according to CDC guidelines and alert Nurse Lynne right away. We realize that access to tests is becoming more difficult which is why this is not a requirement. We will expect any student who does have a positive result to complete the requisite isolation period at home before returning to Chatham Hall. We expect that all students who return to campus on Jan. 4 will immediately proceed to a COVID test with Nurse Lynne, and then return immediately to their rooms and stay on dorm for the rest of the day and evening, with the exception of dinner in Yardley. Masks will need to be worn except when a student is in their room. This will remain in effect until Dean of Students Marin Miller updates us after the second round of on-campus COVID testing.

On Jan. 5, our January Term will begin in person. At this time we are planning to run January Term as planned, with continued masking for all areas not on dorm as continues to be required by our state mandate. Questions regarding January Term should be directed to Dean of Academics Martha Griswold.

At this time, we also plan on:
  • A second round of testing to take place five to six days after the return of the first round/arrival testing.
  • Masks will be required on dorm at all times with the exception of when students are in their room until the second round test results are returned. 
  • Similar to the start of school after any break, there will be limits on the number of students visiting any dorm room until second round test results are returned.
  • Meals will continue to be provided and eaten in Yardley where students will be expected to mask if they are not eating.
  • Masks will not be required during active afternoon activities. 
  • Masking in classrooms, shared offices, hallways, etc. as required by the statewide mandate.

Again, I remind everyone that though we all may be in different locations for the holidays, during this pandemic everything we do has the potential to impact our Chatham Hall community. Because of this, I am asking that all of our Chatham Hall families follow CDC recommendations regarding COVID precautions most especially frequent hand washing, wearing a mask when in indoor public spaces, observing social distancing, and avoiding crowds.

Additionally, I ask families to be forthcoming to Chatham Hall if they have been in contact with a COVID-19 case during the break or feel that they may be exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19. This has been very helpful to Nurse Shelton and all of us as we have navigated the pandemic and we know it has helped to keep our on-campus COVID numbers so low. Reach out to Director of the Health Care Center Lynne Shelton. Those who have had COVID-19 during the break may still test positive when tested on campus, so knowing the exposure will help us with determining any needed quarantines and restrictions.

And again, please continue to check your email during the break period as we will continue communicating about COVID-19 via email if necessary. 

Thank you all in advance for your patience and flexibility as we navigate yet another COVID-19 surge, and I cannot stress enough how thankful I am that this community places such high value on protecting themselves and others. I look forward to seeing you all soon!

Rachel A. Connell