January 6, 2022

Dear Madeira Community, 
 

Madeira remains committed to both safeguarding the health and wellness of our community and to providing a robust student academic and community experience. While COVID-19 remains a stubborn presence despite all we have done collectively and individually, we are encouraged by the widespread commitment to Madeira’s health protocols.  
 

As we all have experienced recently, we need to remain flexible and adaptive to manage the impact of COVID-19 and the omicron variant. Our recent short-term shift to remote learning for the first week of Mod 4 is an example of adapting to the winter weather, omicron surge, and testing challenges.  
 

Return from break testing yields positive COVID cases 

Consistent with the surge of omicron, our full community testing on January 4 detected a handful of positive results from adults and students. Anyone identified as a close contact of these individuals has been notified. We are following CDC and VDH guidelines as they are revised and updated.  
 

Next community test January 11 

With Madeira’s students returning from break from a wide range of locations, we are continuing to follow the plan we set to test the full community upon return to campus. We will conduct our next full community test on January 11. 
 

Continued commitment to collective health 

We continue to stress the importance of our shared responsibility to mitigate virus transmission, including:  

  • wear well-fitting face masks 

  • practice frequent handwashing 

  • remain home if feeling ill 

  • follow CDC guidelines 
     

As a reminder, should a student test positive for COVID-19, the School will activate her emergency departure plan. With the recent FDA approval of the booster for 12- to 15-year olds, we strongly recommend that all community members receive the booster. 
 

Ongoing flexibility and adaptation 
 

The CDC advises that the next month or so may continue to present heightened challenges, so Madeira will continue to be flexible and adaptive. For example, some faculty may have to care for ill family members, or ill community members may necessitate short-term remote learning for a particular class.  

Pandemic fatigue is real, and we know how challenging the ever-changing circumstances can be. Despite these continuing challenges of the pandemic, we are encouraged by and grateful for our vaccinated campus community and our continued attention to COVID-19 health practices. We know that when we work together and care for and support each other, we can do amazing things as a Madeira community. 
 

Sincerely, 

Gretchen Warner and The COVID Response Team