Tabor Academy welcomes students back with covid tests
MARION — Coronavirus testing started this weekend for Tabor Academy students who plan to return to campus this year for in-person learning.
The school is partnering with Southcoast Health to provide rapid antigen testing.
Day students were tested on Aug. 28 in a series of tents outside, and incoming ninth graders and boarding proctors on Aug. 29 in the Fish Center for Health and Athletics due to rain. The school plans to test seniors on Aug. 30, and most sophomores and juniors on Aug. 31.
Testing was designed as a drive through process with steps for paperwork screening, checking temperature and screening symptoms, filling out forms (if needed) dropping off medications (if needed), and finally coronavirus testing.
If students had a fever or answered “yes” to any of the questions about symptoms they were asked to return home.
“We do not want to start off the year having people on campus who are ill,” said Health Center Director Julie Przybyszewski in a video on the Tabor Facebook page,
When it comes to the test students get an anterior naris, or nostril only test from their cars.
As Przybyszewski puts it, “you just go around the outside, externally of the nose, three times in one nostril and three times in the other nostril. It is not invasive, you do not feel like it’s tickling your brain.”
After testing, students get a yellow wristband, which shows their results are pending. All on-campus students are also required to get a flu shot.
Students and faculty alike will be asked to sign a social contract. If they do not follow it they will be asked to study or work remotely.
The entire campus will be tested again in 14 days and students, faculty and staff must also wear masks. Students may only remove their masks in their dorm rooms with the door closed.
If Tabor students who live four hours away or even closer get sick, they will return home. If they live further away, they will be treated on-campus.
Tabor will hold its chapel talks and all-school meetings online this year. It has rearranged its campus and provided more outdoor spaces to allow for social distancing.
“We are in a unique position as a school to have a successful year: our class numbers are naturally small, our campus is vast -- giving us the ability to socially distance, and most of our facilities are separated from one another,” administrators wrote in a release.
The Dining Hall will offer Grab ‘n Go options and seating available across our campus in tents, picnic tables and other areas, all designed for physical distancing.
The school says it has “several contingency plans to help stop the spread of illness should any case arise.”