BETHEL — Gould Academy has set up a strategy this upcoming semester for handling the pandemic. Head of School Tao Smith says, “We know that as we reopen school, over 90% of the population at Gould will have already been vaccinated.”

Smith describes the three different populations coming back to Gould: those who are vaccinated, those who are unvaccinated, and those who are living with someone who are high risk whether they are vaccinated or not due to their age or health.

“We know that the vaccine is highly effective, we know that it prevents infection, but we also know that infection is still possible even for vaccinated individuals. With this Delta variant on the rise, it’s becoming more likely than not that we will experience symptomatic and also asymptomatic infections on campus,” explains Smith.

“It’s not as clear cut to say we either require masks or we don’t; there’s a mix of people here at school that we need to be thoughtful of, and we need to have a strategy that has the ability to be adjusted on the fly. Our plan today is different from what it was two weeks ago, and it is likely to continue to change and evolve.”

Everyone will be required to wear masks indoors only for the first two weeks, until Gould can clear its testing strategies. Those who are unvaccinated will have to wear masks indoors for the foreseeable future, and Gould will try as hard as they possibly can to allow for as much normalcy for them and also its vaccinated population for as long as it is prudent, he noted.

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