Open Connections

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Open Connections COVID-19 Mitigation Strategies


Welcome to the 2021-2022 program year. As we all know, Open Connections has many distinct advantages over a conventional school including small program sizes that allow for physical distancing when needed, rooms that allow for outdoor air ventilation, attendance only one to three days a week, and ample outdoor spaces. We also recognize that Open Connections is best experienced in-person, and that on-campus programs allow us to best meet our mission of providing youth with the tools and skills they need for a life of purpose and fulfillment.


For all these reasons, we are committed to on-campus programming when:

  • It doesn’t interfere with the health and safety of the youth and staff;

  • When we are able to staff programs appropriately; and

  • When there is no government mandate prohibiting on-campus programming.


Taking into account information and guidance from the CDC, the PolicyLab at CHOP, the PA DOH, the local health departments, and several local schools, Open Connections will follow the mitigation strategies below. We will continue to monitor the pandemic and modify our strategies as necessary.


Current COVID 19 Mitigation Strategies (as of January 21, 2022)


Home Health Screening Prior to arriving on campus, families and staff are strongly advised to conduct a health screening. Youth should stay home if they are showing any SIGNS OR SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19. Families should inform OC by 9:00 am if their youth will not be attending due to illness/symptoms.


Handwashing & Personal Sanitation: Hand sanitizer stations will be set up

at the entrances to each building for use as needed. At a minimum, youth and staff should wash hands prior to arrival at OC, before and after meals or snacks, and after going to the bathroom.


Face Coverings: Due to high transmission rates, we are requiring masks to be worn indoors except while eating or drinking.Masks will be optional when outdoors.


Cleaning & Ventilation: Each program space will be thoroughly cleaned at the end of each day by our cleaners using the same protocol as last year. In order to increase circulation of outdoor air, windows will be opened and fans will be run when possible. Building ventilation systems will operate properly and with approved filtration systems.


Physical Distancing: In accordance with CDC guidance, at this time OC will practice three foot distancing, to the extent possible, in the buildings when it doesn’t interfere with the quality of the program.  All programs are operating at reduced capacities to more easily allow for physical distancing.


Outdoors: We will continue to take advantage of the outdoors when it doesn’t compromise the quality of the program.


Visitors on Campus: Visitors are allowed on campus, but must follow all OC COVID-19 mitigation strategies.


Quarantine and Isolation: Positive cases and anyone exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms  are expected to follow the current CDC quarantine guidelines which can be found HERE.