COVID-19 Updates

Vaccines, Testing & Safety Protocols
  1. Are vaccinations and boosters required to attend in-person programs for summer 2023?

    We continue our commitment to the highest standards of safety and well-being by requiring all students and staff attending our residential programs to be fully vaccinated where allowable by US law. At this time, commuter students will not be required to be vaccinated.  

    *As of December 19, 2022, all institutions are requiring boosters for all students and staff except at UNC-Chapel Hill, Fairfield University, University of Cambridge, and UT Austin. 

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  2. Will international students be required to be vaccinated?

    At this time, students participating in a residential program in 2023 will be required to be fully vaccinated, where allowable by U.S. law. Commuter students will not be required to be vaccinated, at this time. 

    While some of our university partners are finalizing a policy around which vaccines will be required, the U.S. is following the World Health Organization’s approved vaccines which include Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, Astra Zenica, and Sinovac.  We expect that our university partners will follow similar guidelines. If an international (non-U.S.) student is not able to be vaccinated in their country of residence prior to arriving on campus, or if an international (non-U.S.) student is not able to receive an approved vaccine, they must cancel by June 1, 2023, and will be eligible to (1) transfer to an online program (2) roll-over their enrollment to Summer 2024 or (3) receive a full refund less the application fee and optional travel/tuition insurance. 

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  3. How will I provide my student’s vaccination information?

    Families will be asked to provide their vaccine information through our Health Form Portal. This portal provides a way for families to securely share medical information with our staff prior to campus arrival. Families should be prepared to upload copies of their vaccination card as well as dosage dates and batch number information. Our Health Form Portal will be available in March.  

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  4. Will you consider medical and religious exemptions for vaccination?

    Yes, families will have the opportunity to submit a Medical/Religious exemption request.  All requests must be started within 10 days of enrollment and will be thoroughly vetted by our operations and compliance team who will work closely with our university partners to understand their protocols.   
      
    Only exemptions that are for bona fide purposes will be considered. Our review team will examine the request to determine if reasonable accommodation can be arranged without creating potential undue burden or hardship on the part of the program and/or host campus.   

    This process can take 2-3 weeks and does not guarantee the exemption will be granted. Further, if an exemption is deemed bona fide, it does not guarantee that reasonable accommodation can be arranged. Should an exemption request be denied or our review team determines that reasonable accommodations cannot be made, students will be eligible for a refund so long as the exemption request was started within 10 days of enrollment. Please email info@summerdiscovery.com for more information and applicable forms. 

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  5. Will students need to wear masks throughout the program?

    At this time, students and staff will be required to wear facial coverings while indoors and near other participants in small group settings. Masking and safe social distancing will be encouraged while outside in group settings and while eating as appropriate. Our protocols may shift based on CDC and university guidelines. 

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  6. Will testing be required before arrival and/or during the program?

    All students and staff will be required to provide proof of a negative COVID test prior to arrival at any on-campus program. Tests must be taken within 48 hours prior to arrival at the program. Students will provide test results via our online Health Form Portal.  

    Vaccinated students will not be expected to receive regular testing.  

    Staff and students with approved medical or religious vaccine exemptions will be required to complete COVID testing according to the university’s guidance which could be once or twice weekly. In addition, students or staff with these exemptions must test if they have any potential direct exposure to COVID. More details regarding what this process will look like at each campus will be determined and communicated closer to the program start date.

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  7. What if my student contracts COVID on campus?

    We are actively working to minimize and prevent COVID transmission on campus, but we are prepared should a student test positive.   

    Students who demonstrate symptoms for COVID or test positive on a rapid test will be moved into isolation and monitored. They will be tested again and if the positive test is confirmed we will work with the family’s COVID 19 Point of Contact to determine an action plan. Some universities may require that any student that tests positive depart the campus for a minimum of five days, possibly longer depending on the severity of the case. If the student is allowed to remain on campus, the student will be housed apart from other students and supervised by staff, unless the COVID 19 Point of Contact can pick the student up to provide more individualized care during their recovery. Once the student tests negative after Day 5 and is no longer symptomatic, they may return to the program with a doctor’s written release. University policies pertaining to remaining on campus during COVID are subject to change and expect to be finalized as we move closer to the summer season. 

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  8. What is a COVID 19 Point of Contact and Travel Contingency Plan?

    If a student tests positive for COVID-19, a parent or guardian will be notified immediately, and the student will be moved into isolation. Depending on the university policy, a parent or guardian may be asked to pick their student up from the program as soon as possible, but no later than 24 hours after being notified. If a parent or guardian is not available, we will use the contact designated on the “COVID-19 Point of Contact” form. Any costs associated with healthcare, travel, meals, accommodation, or anything additionally related to isolation or immediate pick-up are to be covered by the family.  

    We understand not everyone lives close to our program locations. However, this year, we are requiring that families designate a “COVID-19 Point of Contact” who will be able to pick a student up from campus within 24-hours of a positive COVID-19 case if needed. This policy is designed to keep students and staff safe and healthy and help to not spread the virus.  

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  9. How will you communicate if there is a case of COVID on-campus?

    If there is a known case of COVID-19 during a program, we will email the primary parent or guardian on file for all direct or close contacts to the positive individual. This would include contacting the families of those who may share a similar course, residential counselor cohort, housing situation, or if they also participated in a similar co-curricular activity.   

    The identity of the individual who tests positive will never be shared publicly due to privacy matters, but we will share the nature of the potential contact, our next steps for managing the situation, guidance for continuing to reduce future risk of exposure, and a timeline for when we plan to provide future updates on the situation. All exposed close contact individuals will be given a rapid test and will remain temporarily quarantined until they can be cleared, at which time they may return to their program.    

    Our Client Services team will actively work with families to ensure they are kept up-to-date and proactively notified throughout the testing and quarantine process.  

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Refunds & Cancellations
  1. What if I am an international student and cannot get into the country due to a travel ban?

    International students who are unable to obtain a visa or are traveling from a country that has a travel ban in place will be eligible to:  
      

    • Roll-over their enrollment to Summer 2024 or   
    • Receive a full refund less the application fee and optional travel/tuition insurance if they cancel by June 1.  Student will be required to show proof of travel ban or visa rejection. 
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  2. What if there is a regional outbreak that impacts program operations, or a university partner will not allow students on campus?

    We continue to actively monitor COVID trends, and they continue to show positive improvements. All our campus partners are planning for in-person summer programs. However, COVID has taught us the importance of flexibility, so students will be given the following options should a program be canceled prior to the start date:  

    • Transfer their enrollment to another campus program (space permitting)  
    • Roll-over their enrollment to Summer 2024 or   
    • Receive a full refund less the application fee and optional travel/tuition insurance 
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  3. Will I receive a refund if Summer Discovery cancels my program after March 1, 2023?

    Yes. Students will receive a full refund of tuition less the non-refundable application fee and the optional tuition travel protection plan. 

    We will also give students the option to transfer their 2023 tuition to another program or they can opt to roll over their tuition to summer 2024.  

    Students who choose to roll over their enrollment receive the following benefits: 

    • No need to reapply! ( $100 app fee waiver) 
    • $250 Tuition Credit for 2024 combinable with any additional savings eligible 
    • Free program changes through November 1, 2023 
    • Early access to course registration 
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  4. Will I receive a refund if my program is canceled mid-session?

    If Summer Discovery needs to end a session early for any reason, students will be entitled to a partial refund less expenses and non-refundable fees (such as the application fee and any optional insurance) based on when the program cancels. Refunds will be determined at the time of cancellation. 

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  5. Will I get a refund if an outbreak occurs during the program and my student needs to quarantine because they have COVID or were exposed to it?

    If the program is not completely canceled due to COVID, any student that contracts COVID or needs to leave the program to quarantine will not be entitled to a refund. 

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  6. What if my student gets sick prior to the program and cannot attend?

    If a student is unable to attend a program due to sickness, illness, or quarantine requirements, the student’s options will depend on whether optional tuition and travel protection insurance was purchased.  

    If insurance was purchased, the student may submit a claim for reimbursement  

    If insurance was not purchased, no refunds are available.  

    Commuter students are not eligible for travel protection insurance (since they are not traveling) and would not be eligible for a refund.  

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The Campus Experience
  1. What will program activities look like this summer?

    Activities on and off-campus may be impacted by COVID protocols; however, we will continue to provide an amazing experience that engages students both inside and outside the classroom.  

    We plan to offer many of our traditional activities. We’ve also historically required sign-up for activities to ensure adequate space and staffing for events. This practice will help us manage group sizes and support social distancing protocols.  

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  2. Will students be allowed to get signed out by family members during the program?

    We strongly discourage families from checking out their students during the program. Not only will it disrupt the student from remaining immersed in the program experience, it will also increase the potential for COVID-19 exposure for our community. Your consideration of this policy is appreciated. Exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis.  

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  3. Will students need to wear masks throughout the program?

    At this time, students and staff will be required to wear facial coverings while indoors and near other participants in small group settings. Masking and safe social distancing will be encouraged while outside in group settings and while eating as appropriate. Our protocols may shift based on CDC and university guidelines. 

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Working Together for a Safe Summer

Summer Discovery continues our commitment to promoting the highest standards of safety and well-being by requiring all residential participants to be fully vaccinated for programs in 2023 where allowable by US law.  

Successful implementation of programs such as ours requires a tremendous amount of planning and risk mitigation with campus and community partners. To that end, we review information and recommendations obtained from health care experts and comply with host campus policies to make informed decisions that may impact our staff and students. We are honored to align our decision with other academic and travel programs across the country to provide the safest environment for our participants as possible. We will continue to monitor the COVID-19 landscape and review our policies with the best available information. 

We have developed response protocols based on recommendations from the CDC, the American Camp Association, and our university partner protocols.  

We can all work together this year to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. Below are some of the protocols we’re implementing, as well as ways residential program participants can help protect themselves and each other.   

These policies are subject to change in response to the ever-changing environment. Stay tuned to this page for updates.  

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Frequently Asked COVID-19 Questions

Check back frequently as we continue to update our 2023 protocols and policies

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