Health & Safety

Safety Protocols

A note from our Executive Director, Shari Churwin on Friday, August 18, 2023.

COVID Protocols

The recent COVID-19 variants are more transmissible, but the occurrence of severe illness is less than with prior variants.  (see: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/science/science-briefs/indicators-monitoring-community-levels.html)  As the virus continues to be present in the population it becomes clear that we must continue to adapt so that we can get back to living our lives while at the same time attending to our safety. 

Consistent with Jewish values, we strongly encourage our members and school families to focus on self-care, while being attuned to the needs of others, and take advantage of the many tools available which make us all safer in the face of this virus: 

Temple Ohabei Shalom (TOS) has updated its COVID-19 guidelines and protocols. These updates are based on recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the MA Department of Early Education and Care (DEEC), and the Brookline Health Department and the advice of our TOS Health and Safety Committee.  Should the local spread of COVID increase, we will reassess and adjust our policies accordingly. 

For example: The Center for Disease Control (CDC) tracks various metrics on their COVID-19 Community Level site.  Levels can be  low, medium, or high and are determined by several factors. (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/science/science-briefs/indicators-monitoring-community-levels.html) We will monitor this information to help us make decisions about our policy and protocols. 

It is critical that you monitor how you and your children are feeling before coming to the TOS campus.  Symptomatic/ill individuals should not come to the TOS campus unless they have a negative COVID-19 test and are masked (per policy below). Health for you and our community comes first.

Temple Ohabei Shalom is a “mask-friendly” environment.  Masking is at one’s own discretion for all who are in the building.  We ask that you take the well-being of others into consideration in your decision about mask wearing.If you feel the need to continue to wear a mask for your own protection, or to protect someone close to you, you should do so. 

ARS is a “mask-preferred” program in order to protect the health of all of our students, staff, and teachers, because ARS brings together students from over 18 schools from various areas. 

Masks are required at TOS for the following:  

  • Symptomatic individuals who have tested negative for COVID-19. 
  • When returning from COVID-19 isolation if you are getting a positive result on a rapid test (days 6 – 10 after illness). 
  • After COVID exposure (An exposure is contact of at least fifteen (15) minutes over a 24 hour period at distance of six (6) feet or less) along with regular testing, for days 0-6.   

As we continue to do everything we can at TOS to keep our community safe and healthy, we will continue to keep you informed of updates to these policies and protocols.  Please feel free to contact Shari Churwin at any time (schurwin@ohabei.org) with any questions you may have.

Vaccination is not required but it is highly encouraged.


Test positive for COVID-19 
Days 0-5: Stay home/isolate 
Day 6-10: Can return to TOS with: 

  • Negative antigen test on first day back
  • High quality mask (N95, KN95, KF94, or well-fitting surgical mask) AND fever free for 24 hours and other symptoms improving AND feeling energetic enough for an active day.

Day 11: Can return to TOS with no testing or masking necessary, as long as no symptoms, or 24 hours fever free and other symptoms subsiding and feeling energetic enough for an active day.

*Children younger than 2 years old (who cannot wear a mask) will need to stay out of school until they have a negative test or day 11, whichever comes first.  

Classroom/Household Exposure
An exposure is contact of at least fifteen (15) minutes over a 24 hours period at distance of six (6) feet or less.  

Days 0-6: Can return to school with all of the following:

  • No symptoms; Carefully monitor for symptoms and test if symptoms develop
  • High quality mask (N95, KN95, KF94 or well fitting surgical mask) through Day 6 (if able to mask)
  • And strongly preferred: Negative rapid antigen or PCR test on Day 6

Symptomatic individuals:

Can remain in school if they have mild symptoms, are tested immediately onsite, and that test is negative. 

*Our staff reserves the right to determine if students are symptomatic and require a test.

They must also wear a mask, if possible, until symptoms are fully resolved. 

For symptomatic individuals, according to DPH recommendations, they should test again within 48 hours if the initial test is negative.

If the symptomatic individual cannot be tested immediately, they will be sent home and allowed to return to school if symptoms remain mild and they test negative, and they have been fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication and their symptoms are resolving, or if a medical professional makes an alternative diagnosis.