In order to protect yourself and your housemates to the extent possible, we ask that all Fellows adhere to the following guidelines/processes:
Pre-QVS / Prior to Arrival
- Physical distance as much as possible in the 2 weeks before leaving
- Wear a mask on the plane/in public spaces when driving; wash hands frequently, and always wash hands before leaving a public place, gas station, etc.
- Self-screen upon arrival to the QVS house: take your temperature and self-monitor for symptoms such as aching, fatigue, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fever, chills, muscle pain, sore throat, and new loss of taste or smell. Anyone displaying these symptoms should isolate in a single room until COVID-19 test results can be obtained.
Arrival to QVS House
- QVS will either provide you with information about the nearest testing facility, or will arrange to have someone come to the house to test everyone on the fifth day after arrival to your QVS city. QVS will get Fellows tested such that they have results within 48 hours. QVS will pay for rapid testing in cities where turnaround time is longer than 48 hours.
- We ask that everyone in your house be tested for COVID-19 upon your arrival in your QVS city. Until test results are received, you should wear face masks in the house except during those times in which you are sleeping. (note: we hope to be able to provide each house with tents/canopies so that meals can be eaten outside in a socially distanced manner without masks).Until test results are received, you should wear face masks in the house except during those times in which you are sleeping. (note: we hope to be able to provide each house with tents/canopies so that meals can be eaten outside in a socially distanced manner without masks).
- You can decide as a community if you want to wear masks after you’ve gotten back test results.
- Please give priority of single rooms to any Housemates who have underlying medical conditions which are known to make them more susceptible to severe illness from COVID-19.
- For the first 10 days after arrival to their QVS city, Fellows should:
- Shelter in place, leaving the house only for grocery shopping/medical appointments. Note: your QVS house will be well-stocked with food and supplies for the first two weeks of your QVS year in order to minimize the need to go into indoor public spaces.
- Wear a mask when going outside of the house/into public spaces.
- Designate a person/people to disinfect commonly touched surfaces such as light switches, doorknobs, faucets, toilet handles, electronics, etc. twice a day.
- Wipe down toilet handles, bathroom doorknobs, and faucets after each use of the bathroom (QVS will provide supplies for this).
- To the extent possible, keep windows open to allow for outside air circulation or keep the air conditioning on when several housemates (more than 2) are together in a common space.
- Prevent entry of any non-resident to the house.
- Using the COVID Comfort Survey results provided to your house as a tool to guide your discussion, decide as a house how you want to handle physical distancing.
Ongoing (no one is known to be sick)
Intentional community is a key component of the QVS program. It means that you and/or some of your housemates may be: working in person at a site placement, commuting to work on public transportation, sharing food and a food preparation area, and sharing a bathroom. Sometimes caring for one another in community requires agreeing to limits on our own freedom for the benefit of others. In order to protect yourself and your housemates to the extent possible, we ask that you:
- Wear a mask if you’re going to spend time near anyone who is not part of your household, and especially when grocery shopping, using public transportation, interacting with clients, or spending time in indoor spaces which aren’t the QVS house.
- Minimize your time in indoor spaces with multiple people who are not a part of your household.
- Wash hands frequently with warm water and soap for a minimum of 20 seconds, and wash hands immediately upon returning home after being out in the community/at work.
- Move as many activities as possible outdoors.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
- Regularly (weekly at a minimum) disinfect commonly touched surfaces such as light switches, doorknobs, faucets, toilet handles, chairbacks, electronics, etc.
- Avoid sharing anything that has come in contact with saliva, whether in your living or social environments.
- Cough and sneeze into your elbow or a tissue and then dispose of the tissue.
- Prescreen all visitors to the house, and do not admit anyone to the house who cannot answer “No” to any of the questions.
- Require any visitors to the house to wear a mask at all times and practice social distancing.
- Call your doctor if you have any suspected symptoms of COVID-19, particularly fever, coughing, or shortness of breath. Do not visit the doctor’s office unless instructed to do so.
- Immediately notify your Housemates and Coordinator if you suspect you are infected with COVID-19, or if you have tested positive for the virus.
- Monitor the infection rate and public health updates in the geographic areas in which you live/work, and take precautions accordingly; some of the below websites allow you to sign up for email updates as new information becomes available:
- Atlanta: https://atlstrong.org/
- Portland: https://govstatus.egov.com/OR-OHA-COVID-19
Travel and becoming “unpodded” from the QVS house community
We hope that your house community has established a set of COVID guidelines which feel safe and manageable for you and all of your housemates. We ask that you adhere to the following guidelines unless your house has agreed upon a different set of protocol for people who travel out of town or into another community.
If someone is leaving the QVS House community with plans to socialize closely with family or another community, please hold a house meeting prior to that person’s departure to set expectations. The following questions should be discussed:
- What safety measures will the traveler and the QVS house need to take before the traveler leaves in order to keep others safe while traveling?
- For example, if they are going to see an immunocompromised or elderly relative, what actions need to be taken by the QVS house community to try to minimize the risk to the person being visited?
- Can/should the house agree upon taking extra precautions in the days leading up to the departure of the traveling housemate?
- Will the traveler get COVID-tested before travel?
- What safety measures will the traveler take to keep themselves safe while traveling?
- Will the traveler unpod from the QVS house community in order to pod with their family/friends, or will the traveler remain podded with the QVS House community and wear a mask en route and at all times while gathered with family & friends?
- If the traveler is unpodding, how will the traveler safely re-pod with the QVS House community upon their return?
- What is the traveler’s plan for getting tested upon their return to the QVS city?
- Testing sites and circumstances change regularly in each city. Travelers should gather up to date information on testing and make a plan BEFORE they depart their QVS city.
- QVS hopes travelers will find free or insurance-covered testing after elective travel. If free testing is unavailable, and you do not have personal funds or people in your personal networks to support the cost of testing, you may ask for Discretionary/Emergency funding from the QVS Equity Fund to cover testing expenses. If someone in your network like a guardian, family member, or friend is financially supporting your travel, we hope you will reach out to them first for financial assistance with testing before asking for QVS Equity Funding. You may find it helpful to reference the Equity Justice Scale when deciding whether to ask QVS for Equity Funds to cover the cost of testing after elective travel.
- Please note: your site or QVS will pay for COVID testing in situations where you may have been exposed to COVID due to work or QVS obligations. This paragraph refers to testing after elective travel/activities.
QVS strongly recommends that upon a traveler’s return, your QVS house follows the same protocol as at the beginning of the year: everyone should wear masks inside the house (except when sleeping) and social distance from the traveler until the traveler gets tested. Testing should take place no earlier than five days after arriving back to the QVS house, and masks should be worn until the traveler gets negative COVID test results.
If you’d like support in talking with Housemates about travel plans, please contact your Coordinator. If you have questions about QVS recommendations around COVID-19 and travel, please contact Lee Anne.
If someone displays symptoms of COVID-19
- Immediately notify your Coordinator if you or a Housemate shows symptoms of COVID, and arrange to get a COVID test ASAP. (You can consult a COVID hotline in your city to get information on testing, contact your Coordinator if you need help finding a testing center.)
- Anyone with COVID symptoms should begin wearing a mask inside the house and isolate from other Housemates as much as possible until results from a COVID test come back. QVS strongly recommends that everyone in the house wear a mask until results come back, but we leave that decision to your house.
- If you are not already working from home, notify your Site Placement Supervisor that a Housemate may have been exposed to COVID, and request to work from home until the Housemate gets test results back.
- Limit all trips outside the house to essential needs, such as grocery shopping, and also close the house to all outside visitors until you receive (negative) test results back.
- If the housemate tests positive, please see the section “If someone tests positive for COVID-19 (mild case)” below. All members of your house should get a COVID test if a Housemate tests positive.
- If the housemate tests negative, please go back to work as usual, continue to take safety precautions in public (wear your mask), and monitor for symptoms.
If someone tests positive for COVID-19 (mild case)
- Immediately notify your Coordinator if a housemate becomes infected.
- If you are not already working from home, notify your Site Placement Supervisor that a Housemate has fallen ill, and request to work from home for the next 14 days, or until the Housemate no longer has to isolate
- Designate a bedroom and bathroom for the infected person to use exclusively; this may require some shifting of furniture and/or people to provide a private room to the infected housemate. (Note: in some cases, QVS may decide it is better to remove the ill person from the house; please be in communication with your Coordinator about this possibility). If there is only one bathroom, see below.
- Designate a caregiver for the infected housemate; this is the only person who should have contact with the infected person for the duration of the illness. The caregiver will be responsible for:
- Protecting themselves against disease transmission per this resource: Caring for Patients with Confirmed or Suspected COVID-19
- Bringing nourishment and/or medications to sick housemate (leave outside of room — do not enter the room)
- Disinfecting the bathroom following the sick housemate’s use of the bathroom or other shared spaces if necessary (PDX with solo bathroom)
- Monitoring housemate for worsening of symptoms, seeking medical help if the sick housemate’s condition deteriorates.
- Limit all trips outside the house to essential needs, such as grocery shopping
- Close the house to all outside visitors.
For the sick housemate:
- Notify your emergency contact
- Wear a facemask if/when around other housemates or in transit to the bathroom
- Make all efforts to not touch anything outside your room/bathroom.
- Remain quarantined until you meet the CDC guidelines for safely being able to be around others