Coronavirus Resources & Information
As Westminster Schools of Augusta continues to monitor and assess the outbreak of COVID-19 worldwide, we have created this resource for our community to track how the public health threat is affecting the programs and other activities our students, faculty and staff are engaged in. As the situation evolves and as we receive updated information from our outside resources, we will continue to send relevant updates to the Westminster community, and make these updates available on this web page. We encourage you to bookmark this page, watch our school calendar, check email regularly, and monitor the websites located on under the "helpful resources" section.
Our Latest Response
- Westminster's Remote Learning program has been established to continue classes and schoolwork starting Tuesday, March 17, through Friday, April 24.
- While we are engaging in remote learning, our campus will be closed to students. Students should not visit campus until further notice as there will not be adult supervision on-site.
- All school-sponsored on- and off-campus activities and athletics have been postponed starting Monday, March 16 through Friday, April 24.
- President Trump has given specific guidelines to follow for social distancing. Westminster urges our community to follow these guidelines and to continue to consider the importance of social distancing.
- School Counselors Andi Strong and Caitlin Vinson are available to support students experiencing stress and anxiety during this time. Please go to our counseling webpage for their contact information and to view additional resources.
Those who believe they may have been exposed to or infected with the novel coronavirus should seek medical care right away. Before you go to a clinic, doctor's office, or emergency room, call ahead and tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.
Westminster Coronavirus Web Page Updated on March 27, 2020 at 7:00pm.
COVID-19 Messages from Westminster Schools of Augusta
- World Health Organization (WHO):
- The Center for Disease Controls (CDC):
- Johns Hopkins Interactive and Updating Outbreak Map
- U.S. State Department
- Georgia Department of Public Health
Frequently Asked Questions
How will I receive up-to-date information from the school?
Any up-to-date information will be posted on this web page as well as emailed out to all primary and secondary household contacts. In the event of a school closure, media outlets will be alerted and updates will be on our social media pages. All primary and secondary contacts will also receive a text message in addition to an email.
Is Westminster Schools of Augusta closing?
Westminster Schools of Augusta’s Campus Closed Starting Monday, March 16
While the Westminster community does not have any known or suspected cases of COVID-19, our taskforce has decided proactively to close Westminster Schools of Augusta’s campus beginning this Monday, March 16. This includes all school-sponsored on-and off-campus activities until further notice. Monday, March 16 will be a mandatory staff & faculty professional learning day and remote learning for all students will begin Tuesday, March 17. For more information, please read the email sent to all faculty, staff, and parents or go to our coronavirus response web page.
How will the decision be made to close the school?
The health and safety of our students, staff, and families is our top priority. While WSA monitors other school closings including the Richmond County Public School District and other independent schools in the area, Westminster makes decisions independently based on the school's unique needs and situation, as well as guidance from external agencies.
In the event of a COVID-19 outbreak in our community, the school will work closely with the Georgia Department of Health and health professionals to determine the best course of action, following all public health protocols.
If a case of COVID-19 is identified in the Westminster community or surrounding community, we will follow local and/or state health authorities' recommendations or order to close. We may, out of an abundance of caution and in consideration of the school's unique needs and situation, close even if health officials do not deem it necessary.
What can a parent do to prepare for a potential school closure?
We encourage you to consider the following:
- Plan alternative childcare arrangements for children in case school is dismissed early and/or closed.
- Talk to friends, neighbors, and other parents about sharing childcare duties if your children are well, but school is closed.
- Talk to your employer about working from home or shifting schedules in the event of a school closure.
- Regularly check this web page, your email, and the school calendar.
What about school events, gatherings and trips?
We will make decisions about holding or canceling events based on the updated information from health officials. Please watch for messages from division heads, the athletic director, or the Head of School Brian Case with important updates. Any changes will also be noted on our school calendar. In the event of an outbreak, to increase your chances of staying healthy, it is best to avoid crowded settings, especially if you are over sixty years of age or have chronic health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, lung disease, or a weakened immune system.
At this time, Westminster has canceled the Upper School France Summer Trip.
Master's Break is just around the corner... what do I need to do to prepare?
Westminster Schools of Augusta is asking all families to abide by the CDC’s current travel restrictions.
- Westminster families should avoid all nonessential travel to China and South Korea, according to the CDC. For travel to Italy, Japan, and Iran, use enhanced precautions, including avoiding sick people and washing hands with soap and water often. Older adults and those with chronic medical conditions should consider postponing nonessential travel to those countries. The CDC also recommends that travelers reconsider cruise ship travel to or within Asia.
- Westminster Schools of Augusta is following the CDC’s recommendation and asking individuals to stay home for 14-days from the time they leave an area with widespread, ongoing community spread (Level 3 Travel Health Notice countries, which currently include China, Iran, Italy, and South Korea) and practice social distancing. Please notify the School at 706.831.5749 ext. 2223 or email School Nurse Kelly Hitchcock at email@example.com if this affects your family so that your child(ren)’s teachers can provide missed work, assignments, and classroom updates. You may also click here to read more about the CDC’s after-travel precautions.
- Should you choose to visit one of these areas, you and your family must be evaluated by a health care provider prior to returning to campus after the 14-day self-quarantine. If your family travels to an area that is added to the restricted travel list within 14 days of your return, you are required to report this Westminster's School Nurse, Kelly Hitchcock at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also be required to self-quarantine. Westminster Schools of Augusta will require a note from your health care provider stating that the individual has been tested and is able to return to campus.
How will my child's education continue in the event of an extended school closure?
Our faculty is working on ways to prepare lessons, assignments, activities, resources, etc. that will allow our educational program to continue as much as possible in the event of an extended school closure. Westminster will most likely continue schooling virtual via Google Classrooms in the Upper and Middle School. Westminster will also provide resources to students in the Lower School. Parents will receive more detailed information in the event of an extended school closure.
What can families, students, and school personnel do to keep from getting sick and spreading COVID-19?
The CDC recommends the following actions to help prevent the spread of COVID-19:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water when your hands are visibly dirty.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick (and do not return to school until you are fever-free for 24 hours without medication). We ask you to strictly adhere to this policy.
- Cough or sneeze into your elbow or a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
What additional steps is the school taking at this time?
The school will take extra care with the cleaning and disinfection process, with particular attention to common surfaces.
- Additional cleaning of common surfaces by faculty and staff is happening at regular intervals throughout the day.
- The evening cleaning crew has implemented a disinfectant protocol in addition to the regular cleaning.
- All faculty and staff are required to maintain appropriate hand washing and sanitizing protocols upon entering the building and throughout the day.
We continue to be in close communication with government agencies as well as other independent schools to closely monitor the situation and will keep you updated as things change.