Important COVID-19 Policy Updates
Updated July 31, 2022
We are having another fun and meaningful summer on Star Island. It is important to remember that the pandemic is still with us, and at the time of this update cases are once again on the rise in many parts of the country. As a community of care, we will need to make every effort to keep ourselves and each other healthy and safe. In addition to the individual health risks posed by COVID-19, an outbreak on Star Island would have a drastic impact on our ability to operate this summer (we have already experienced this during open-up). Together, by following important policies and procedures, we can mitigate this risk in order to function smoothly and bring the Star Island experience to our community.
While we are doing what we can to protect ourselves and each other, COVID-19 is an ever-present risk on the mainland and on Star Island. Though our policies help to reduce risks, we cannot guarantee that there won’t be COVID-19 on the island (as with everywhere else). We are providing this information so you can plan your visit and know what to expect when you arrive.
Before You Come to Star
To keep our community safe, we are requiring all overnight guests (and employees) to take a COVID-19 test before arrival on the island. This can be either a rapid antigen (“at home”) test done within 24 hours or a PCR test done within 3 days. We prefer that you take a PCR test, as offered for free at many pharmacies. We will confirm that you’ve tested during check in at the dock. If you test positive, stay home (we will refund you in full, even if it’s within 24 hours of your scheduled arrival). If you test negative but are in the same household with somebody who tests positive, either stay home or reach out to Anne Henry, our Island Nurse, at email@example.com to discuss your situation.
If you have tested positive for COVID-19 within 5 days of your conference start date, stay home. If you have tested positive within 6-10 days, please reach out to Anne Henry at firstname.lastname@example.org before coming to Star.
We strongly suggest bringing at-home COVID-19 tests to the island with you. It’s simple and free to order tests at https://www.covid.gov/tests/. We are hoping that everyone brings at least 2 tests/person to the island with them, which will supplement our existing testing capabilities in the event this is needed.
Proof of Vaccination
All overnight visitors to Star Island who are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine are required to have received all doses in the primary series of vaccination (and expected to be boosted). If you have not yet submitted your proof of vaccination to our secure online portal, please do so at the following webpage: https://vax.starisland.org
It is strongly recommended that children ages six months to four years old receive all doses in the primary series of vaccination. We understand that the timing of recent developments in vaccine eligibility does not allow for children to be fully vaccinated before many conferences. Therefore, children who cannot be vaccinated must show proof of a negative PCR test upon arrival. In addition, all guests (any age) must be tested for COVID-19 prior to arrival. This can be either a rapid antigen (“at home”) test done within 24 hours or a PCR test done within 3 days.
Please reach out to Mike Bray at email@example.com if you have any questions.
Checking for Symptoms
Please check yourself for symptoms before coming to Star! Here are the specific COVID-19 symptoms we are talking about: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html
If you have any of the COVID-19 symptoms on this list, do not come to the island (again, we will refund you). If you have mild symptoms, have tested negative for COVID-19 on a PCR test, and believe your symptoms are attributable to something else (e.g., allergies), please reach out to Anne Henry, our Island Nurse, at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your situation.
It is important that all Star Island visitors pack masks for themselves and their families for their stay (surgical, KN95, N95 – not cloth). Indoor mask-wearing policies will be determined on a weekly basis depending on current circumstances, and we will notify you a week or so prior to your arrival of the mask policy for your conference so you know what to expect.
Alternative Travel Plan (In Case of Early Departure)
All Star Island overnight guests should plan for the possibility of leaving the island earlier than anticipated. Guests and staff will have to leave the island if they test positive for COVID-19.
Additionally, people may have to leave the island if they need to isolate or quarantine because of exposure, they do not comply with Star’s health and safety policies, or other reasons as deemed necessary by management.
For people who live within driving distance of Portsmouth, leaving the island early may not pose a significant logistical challenge. However, those without easy access to off-island housing should have an Alternative Travel Plan in place. Star Island will provide boat transportation but is not able to provide travel assistance, lodging, or housing once off the island.
What to Expect on Star
Last year we had no known cases of COVID-19 during the conference season on Star Island, which is a testament to our community respecting and following our COVID-19 policies and procedures. For this reason, the same systems will be in place to protect our community – and yet we are mindful that the current variants are more contagious than previous versions. Outdoor and indoor dining options will both be available. Housekeeping will continue to limit contact inside guest rooms, and we will continue our augmented cleaning services in bathrooms and public spaces. We will offer outdoor programming whenever possible. We will use drop-off locations to deliver luggage, with the option to have luggage delivered directly to rooms upon request if needed.
Star Island will continue to welcome day visitors to the island this summer, regardless of vaccination status. Day visitors are not permitted inside buildings, except for the Brookfield bathrooms, gift shop, and marine lab (masks required). Only day visitors who are fully vaccinated and have furnished proof thereof will be permitted to stay over on the island for extended periods of time.
Thank You for Doing Your Part!
We know we can count on you to get this done – for yourself and for the entire Star Island community! By working together and following the above policies we will help reduce risks so that we can enjoy another special summer at our Spirit’s Home. We look forward to welcoming you back to Star Island!