COVID-19 Ready Campus Protocols

The ACS reopening plan prioritizes the health and safety of our community in an approach that is flexible, nimble, and responsive to students and families. The plan depends on the shared creativity, sacrifices, and discipline of all members of the community.

The novel coronavirus pandemic has forced ACS, like almost every school in the world, to adapt to new and rapidly changing conditions. Our Leadership Team and Response Team have been working on a comprehensive strategy for resuming instruction this fall.

Our plan strives to mitigate and manage health risks, while still providing a valuable learning experience that is deep and meaningful for all of our students. Even as we announce our plan and intention to return to campus, we must recognize that our plan depends on a number of factors beyond our control and is subject to change as new information becomes available or new actions are taken.

As always, we are happy to answer any questions; please contact responseteam@acs.edu.lb.

Our Guiding Principles

Health and safety: We will put the health and safety of our community at the center of our plans and decisions.

Continuity of learning: Whether in person, remote or within a hybrid model, we are committed to delivering an academic program that leads to deep, transformational, and joyful learning.

Mission alignment: Our mission will be at the heart of every decision. We will consider the needs of our diverse community and our mission “to empower students to solve problems with creativity and integrity, to lead well-balanced lives, and to serve Lebanon and the world community with understanding and compassion.”

Community Engagement: Despite the challenges and restrictions presented by the current times, we will provide ample opportunities to safely engage as a community.

Timely and transparent communication: We will continue to communicate regularly and transparently about the School’s plans and considerations behind our decisions.

Cleaning / Disinfecting / Safety Measures

Cleaning / Disinfecting Measures

  • Cleaning and disinfection are maintained on a continuous basis throughout the day for surfaces, tabletops, door handles, and frequently touched surfaces, banisters, light switches, elevator buttons, etc.. and according to the Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) protocols.
  • Toilets and sinks are cleaned and disinfected three times per day throughout the day as per the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations.
  • Soap and paper tissues are available in bathrooms to support hand hygiene behaviors.
  • Hand sanitizers (with at least 70% alcohol) are placed at every entry door, school gate, and in hallways.
  • Disinfectant spray bottles and paper tissues are provided for each teacher in the classroom to be used on frequently touched surfaces when needed.
  • Students’ desks are cleaned and sprayed before and after each use.
  • Cafeteria chairs and tables are cleaned and disinfected after each use.
  • All electronics such as tablets, touch screens, keyboards, and remote controls are cleaned and disinfected using alcohol-based wipes or sprays (at least 70% alcohol) then surfaces are dried thoroughly to avoid pooling of liquids.

Campus Safety Measures

  • School is operating on (a maximum of) 50 % of students’ capacity in accordance with the hybrid mode of learning.
  • All classroom desks and chairs are cleaned and disinfected before and after use.
  • All soft toys that cannot be cleaned and disinfected have been removed from classrooms.
  • All work tables for students are placed at least 1.5 m away from each other.
  • All carpets are removed from classrooms as per the CDC recommendation.
  • All restrooms and toilets will be well-stocked with soap and tissue paper.
  • All students’ sleeping mats are cleaned and disinfected before and after use.
  • All non-essential furniture, such as tables and chairs for children’s activities and soft chairs for reading have been removed.

Individual Safety Measures

  • All employees and students should maintain at least a 1.5-meter distance from others at all times.
  • All employees and students should wash their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds or use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 70% alcohol before and after eating.
  • All students should wash their hands or use the hand sanitizer before entering the classroom, and right after handling money, cards, or keypads.
  • All employees and students should cough or sneeze into a tissue or their facemask, throw away the tissue or the facemask, wash their hands and change the face mask.
  • All employees and students are not allowed to share food, laptops, pens, pencils, or any item with friends.
  • Students are not allowed to touch their faces unless their hands are thoroughly cleaned.
  • Personal materials are not allowed to be shared between students.
  • Students will be sent one at a time to the toilet to lower the viral transmission mode.
  • All students are placed at least 1.5 meters apart from each other head to toe during nap time.
  • All special events such as holiday events and special performances will be canceled. (For birthdays only individual cupcakes are allowed while maintaining physical distancing).

Student Protocols

Prior to Arrival

All students must:

  • Have two extra face masks ready to use in case needed.
  • Have individual hand sanitizer with them at all times.
  • Not bring toys/games from home.
  • Not come to school when their temperature is or more than 37.5°C and they feel ill (difficulty in breathing, coughing, sore throat, running nose). They must stay at home.
  • Not come to school for at least 10 days or as directed by their physician if a family member is diagnosed to have COVID-19.

Upon Arrival

All students must:

  • Be wearing face masks covering mouth and nose.
  • Have their temperature checked by the guards.
  • Not access campus if the temperature is or above 37.5°C and will be asked by the guard / designated nurse to go home immediately.
  • Use the hand sanitizer at the gate before entering the campus.
  • Follow at least the 1.5-meter physical distance from others when entering campus.

On-Campus

All students must:

  • Keep at least 1.5 m away from one another at all times.
  • Wear face masks in classrooms and while walking around campus (can remove their face masks when they are alone).
  • Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds frequently.
  • Wash hands or use hand sanitizer before entering the classroom.
  • Greet others verbally and refrain from personal contact such as shaking hands, kissing, or hugging.
  • Be seated on a designated desk only.
  • Follow the floor signage in hallways and use designated stairs for going up and down.
  • Follow movement flow around campus (the one-way entry and exit paths onto campus).
  • Use appropriate stairs when going up or down.

Sick Students

  • Sick students must not come to school when their temperature is or more than 37.5°C and they feel ill (difficulty in breathing, coughing, sore throat, running nose). They must stay at home.
  • Students must inform nurses and their designated office if they are not feeling well. Nurses will maintain contact with the ill student and enforce the “Go Home, Stay Home” policy as per guidelines.
  • Students who develop any symptoms of illness will be placed in the isolation room and parents will be contacted to pick them up. 
  • Students can return to school once given the all-clear from nurses - based on the doctor's report.

Student diagnosed with COVID-19 can return to school only when:

  • Completed at least 10 days of home isolation or as directed by the child’s physician.
  • Resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications for 24 hours before returning to school.
  • No longer have symptoms of illness, or respiratory difficulties (e.g., cough, shortness of breath).
  • Until symptoms have subsided.
  • No fever or any fever-reducing medications were taken 24 hours prior to return to school.

Bright Beginnings

  • Handwashing is being practiced upon entering the classroom, after coming from the playground, before and after eating, using the toilet, and changing diapers.
  • Toys that have been used, are cleaned and disinfected.
  • Temperature check is done twice per day (upon arrival and during the day) for all teachers and children.

Parents are required to:

  • Bring home-cooked meals.
  • Not to bring toys from home.
  • Bring individual cupcakes for birthdays events.
  • Bring pillowcases, blankets, and bed covers.
  • Take home and wash the pillowcases, blankets, and bed covers on a weekly basis.
  • Bring one additional pair of shoes and extra clothes.

Nursery

  • Teachers make a visual inspection of the student before the student enters the classroom for signs of illness (flushed cheeks, rapid breathing or difficulty breathing, fatigue, or extreme fussiness).
  • Children in the same bubble can sit together during eating times but are not allowed to share food.
  • Cooking activities are limited to the preparation of food (washing, peeling, grating, sorting).
  • Children’s hands are washed prior to and immediately after eating.
  • Teachers wash their hands before preparing food and after helping children to eat.
  • Toys that have been placed in children’s mouths during play are set aside until they are cleaned and disinfected.

Early Childhood (KG I - Grade 2)

  • Teachers make a visual inspection of the student for signs of illness (flushed cheeks, rapid breathing or difficulty breathing, fatigue, or extreme fussiness).
  • Students may share their toys with others in their bubble during playtime.
  • Children sit together during eating times but are not allowed to share food.
  • Cooking activities are limited to the preparation of food (washing, peeling, grating, sorting).

Face Masks Protocols

Wearing a mask in schools, public places, and around people who do not live in your household will help stop the spread of COVID-19. CDC does not recommend the use of gaiters or face shields.

How to choose a mask?

  • Two or more layers of washable, breathable fabric.
  • Let children five years and older wear masks made for children.
  • Masks should not be worn by children younger than five, people who have trouble breathing, or people who cannot remove the mask without assistance.

How to wear a mask?

  • Wear the mask over your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin.
  • Fits snugly against the sides of your face and don't have gaps.
  • If you wear glasses, find a mask that fits closely over your nose or one that has a nose wire to limit fogging.

Do not choose masks that:

  • Are made of fabric that makes it hard to breathe, for example like vinyl.
  • Have exhalation valves or vents that allow virus particles to escape.
  • Are intended for healthcare workers, including N95 respirators or surgical masks.

Wear a mask correctly and consistently for the best protection:

  • Be sure to wash your hands before putting on a mask.
  • Do not touch the mask when wearing it.

How to clean?

Masks should be washed regularly. Always remove masks correctly and wash your hands after handling or touching a used mask.

How not to wear a mask?

  • Around your neck
  • Under your nose
  • Dangling from one ear
  • Only on your nose
  • On your chin

How to take off a mask?

  1. Untie the strings behind your head or stretch the earloops.
  2. Handle your used facemask by the ear loops only.
  3. Fold outside corners together.
  4. Do not touch your eyes, nose, and mouth when removing your mask, and wash your hands immediately after removing.

How to wash your hands the correct way?

Washing your hands can stop germs from spreading from one person to another and throughout an entire community.

  1. Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
  2. Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
  3. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
  4. Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
  5. Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.

How to use hand sanitizer?

  1. Apply the gel product to the palm of one hand (read the label to learn the correct amount).
  2. Rub your hands together.
  3. Rub the gel over all the surfaces of your hands and fingers until your hands are dry. This should take around 20 seconds.

What is physical distancing?

  • Keeping a safe space between yourself and other people who are not from your household.
  • Stay at least 1.5 m (2 arms’ length) from other people who are not from your household in both indoor and outdoor spaces.

Physical distancing should be practiced in combination with wearing face masks and frequently washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Food and Bus Services

Food Services

  • Self-serve foods or drinks will not be served to students or employees in order to decrease the mode of viral transmission.
  • Individually pre-packaged meals will be served to students while ensuring the safety of students with food allergies.
  • Early Childhood and Elementary students should eat their meals in classrooms while maintaining a physical distance of at least 1.5 meters apart.
  • Students will be seated on designated seats at the cafeteria following at least 1.5 meters distance apart.
  • Tables and chairs will be cleaned and disinfected between each use.
  • All students will use disposable food service items (e.g., utensils, trays).
  • No food delivery service from outside school - each child brings their own food.

Bus Services

  • All drivers and bus monitors will not be allowed to work if they are feeling sick.
  • All drivers and bus monitors will wear a mask during the bus trip.
  • All drivers will clean and disinfect buses after each transfer.
  • All drivers will increase the circulation of outdoor air by opening windows and ensure by doing so that this does not pose a safety or health risk.
  • All bus monitors will check students' temperature by using a non-touch thermometer upon their entry to the bus, if their temperature is 37.5°C or above, the students will not be allowed to ride the bus.
  • All students will be seated one student per row facing forward and skipping rows between students. Siblings may sit together.
  • Students are not allowed to stand or walk during the bus ride.
  • The bus monitor will instruct students to keep a safe distance when going up or down from the bus.
  • The bus monitor will have a daily log of students riding the bus.

Sports and Activities

  • The Fitness Center / Indoor Spaces will not allow more than the recommended number of persons at one time.
  • The Fitness Center / Indoor Spaces will not allow sick people to use the facility.
  • All visitors must use their own water bottles.
  • All exercise equipment and tools will be cleaned and disinfected between persons.
  • Cardio equipment, free weight areas, weight training equipment, and fitness classrooms are adjusted to maintain physical distancing of at least 1.5 meters.
  • The Fitness Center / Indoor Spaces area is well ventilated.
  • Visual cues such as floor decals, colored tape, and signs are to remind people to maintain a distance of at least 1.5 meters from others, including around training equipment, free weight areas, at employee workstations, and in break areas.
  • All visitors should use the disinfecting wipes and/or paper towels at each location / station / piece of equipment to clean and disinfect before and after exercising.
  • Bands, rubber mats, foam rollers, and yoga blocks are removed from Fitness Centers and Indoor Spaces as they harbor viruses and are hard-to-clean.
  • The use of showers, restrooms, and locker rooms are prohibited for use and access to the changing area is only allowed.
  • Two to three students will be sent by their teacher for change at a time.
  • Staggered dismissal of multiple classes will be followed so classes are not mixing.
  • Teachers will lock the locker rooms when not in use.
  • Signs and reminders are posted at entrances and in strategic places providing instruction on social distancing, hand hygiene, use of cloth face coverings or masks, and cough and sneeze etiquette.

Music and Arts

Music

  • Students must wash or disinfect hands before, during, and after rehearsals.
  • Singers are not allowed to touch their faces as part of a warm-up exercise or singing instruction method (or anytime unnecessarily).
  • All students and teachers are required to wear a face mask when singing.
  • Good ventilation measures are used during rehearsals.
  • All rehearsals are shortened.
  • All items that have been set up or touched by others are wiped down before and after use (chairs, scores/paper music, instruments, music stands, etc).
  • No wind instruments are to be shared between students.

Arts

  • Each set of art materials is cleaned and disinfected after being used by students.
  • Clean brushes used for painting every day and are cleaned after every activity.
  • Playdough is separated into nylon bags for each student’s use.
  • Each group of students is provided with a different set of art materials on a rotational basis for example pencils, markers, charcoal, and erasers.
  • Used art materials are kept away from students and placed in a separate box for cleaning and disinfection.
  • Students are not allowed to share art materials with one another.

Library and Recess

Library

  • All students and employees must stand behind the floor signage at the circulation desk and must keep at least 1.5-2 meters between each other in shared study spaces.
  • Books for check-out are placed with the barcode face up at the circulation desk.
  • All books that are due must be returned to the book drop in the Library quarantine box and collected separately from the delivery of new books to avoid cross-contamination.
  • All audiovisual items (DVDs or CDs) must be placed in the new return bin at the Circulation Desk.
  • The library will not allow printing services.
  • Library staff are only allowed to handle library books.
  • Newspapers and Magazines are removed and not displayed.
  • The Upper School Library will not accommodate more than 92 persons at a time.
  • The Lower School Library will not accommodate more than 39 persons at a time.
  • All employees and students are required to take appointments for any use of IT equipment to allow for the cleaning of work areas and equipment between users.
  • All Library staff and volunteers are not allowed to share working desks.

Recess

  • All students must wash their hands before and after recess.
  • All students above the age of 5 years must wear face coverings as directed by the Ministry of Education and Higher Education.
  • Students are supervised while on play structures to ensure face coverings do not entangle on equipment.
  • Student groups are not allowed to co-mingle.
  • The same group of students will be allowed at the playground at a time every day.
  • Outdoor play in staggered shifts to reduce numbers on the playground at one time.
  • Playground equipment like grab bars and railings are cleaned and disinfected daily and between different groups.
  • Crowding in and around the play structure is not allowed.

Parents / Families / Visitor Protocols

Prior to sending their children to school, parents are required to:

  • Check in with their child each morning for signs of illness. If the child has a temperature of 37.5°C or higher, he/she should not go to school.
  • Make sure their child does not have a sore throat or other signs of illness, like a cough, diarrhea, severe headache, vomiting, or body aches.
  • Not send their child to school if he/she was in close contact with a COVID-19 case.
  • Advise their children to wash and sanitize their hands frequently.
  • Advise their child to keep at least 1.5 m physical distance from other students.
  • Advise their child to wear a mask.
  • Advise their child to avoid sharing objects with other students, including water bottles, devices, writing equipment, and books.
  • Talk to their child about wearing a mask on the bus ride and the importance of following bus rules and any seating rules.
  • Have multiple masks, so they can wash them daily and have back-ups ready. 
  • Inform the divisional offices if their child is sick.

Drop-off and Pick-up

  • Staggered arrival and drop-off times for all levels.
  • Parents are only allowed to drop their children at the school gate.
  • Older adults such as grandparents or those with serious underlying medical conditions will not be allowed to pick up their children, since they are more at risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

Movement around Campus

All parents/visitors are required to:

  • Take an appointment for school-related activities.
  • Have their temperature checked before accessing the campus. Anyone with a temperature of 37.5°C or above will not be permitted to access campus.
  • Wear their facemask while walking around campus.
  • Sanitize their hands at the gates before entering the campus.
  • Follow at least the 1.5-meter physical distance from others, when entering campus.
  • Follow movement flow around campus.
  • Follow the one-way entry and exit paths onto campus.
  • Follow the floor signage when walking in the hallways.
  • Use appropriate stairs when going up or down.

Faculty and Staff Protocols

School Action Plan during the COVID-19 Pandemic

  • Educational materials regarding COVID-19 are placed around the school.
  • Entry access to school is minimized to a certain number of gates.
  • Hand sanitizers are available at gates/classes/offices etc.
  • Face covering is mandatory to be worn for all at all times around campus.
  • Minimize access to visitors.
  • Students' pick-up is recommended from the gates and not from inside campus.
  • Staggered arrival/dismissal times for students to reduce congestion.
  • Limit the number of students per classroom.
  • Limit cross-school transfer for special programs.
  • Cancel large school assemblies or gatherings of students.
  • Library usage is limited to small groups - wash hands before and after accessing.
  • Increase the distance in the classrooms between desks to at least 1.5 meters apart.
  • Have all rooms well ventilated all day long.
  • The use of an elevator is strictly forbidden except during an emergency.

COVID-19 Quarantine Guidelines Recommendations (WHO - Ministry of Public Health)

The Guideline for Home Quarantine / Quarantine in Non-Healthcare settings is intended for anyone who believes they have been exposed to COVID-19 and are required to be home quarantined for 10 - 14 days from time of exposure to prevent community transmission.

  • The person should not go to school or public places nor attend any social event.
  • Allocate a separate room with adequate ventilation at home if possible. Household members should stay in another room or should be separated from the COVID-19 case.
  • Maintain at least 1.5-meter distance from family members.
  • Wear a mask when others are present.
  • Other household members should use a separate bathroom. If sharing the same bathroom, cleaning taps, doorknobs, and utensils with soap and water is a requirement.
  • Food and medications to be put at the door of the room when delivered to the isolated person.
  • Minimize visitors to the house, the COVID-19 case should not interact with any visitors.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • The home quarantined person is expected to monitor body temperature using a thermometer twice a day. If he/she develops difficulty in breathing they should inform the MOH immediately.
  • After use, disposable face masks and gloves should be properly discarded without reuse, preferably in a closed container.
  • Assign separate dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, bedding, and other items for the quarantined person.
  • Transportation of suspected patients is arranged by calling 140, the Lebanese Red Cross, to the nearest hospital.

When is the PCR Test Recommended?

  • When symptoms of COVID-19 are present.
  • When a person has been in close contact, such as within 2 meters of a person with documented SARS-COV-2 infection for at least 15 minutes and does not have symptoms.
  • When a person is present in a high SARS-COV-2 transmission zone and attended a public or private gathering of more than 10 people (without wearing a face mask and/or physical distancing).

When is the PCR Test not Recommended?

  • When symptoms of COVID-19 are not present.
  • When a person has not been in close contact with someone known to have SARS-COV-2 infection (meaning being within 2 meters of an infected person for at least 15 minutes).
  • When healthcare providers were in close contact with a person with documented SARS-COV-2 infection while using recommended personal protective equipment.

When can an Employee Return to Work?

Mild to moderate illness and the person is not severely immunocompromised:

  • At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.
  • At least 24 hours have passed since the last fever without the use of fever-reducing medications.
  • Symptoms (e.g. cough, shortness of breath) have improved.
  • Asymptomatic people throughout their infection may return to work when at least 10 days have passed since the date of their first positive viral diagnostic test.
  • Severe to critical illness and the patient is either not severely or severely immunocompromised.
  • At least 10 days and up to 20 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.
  • At least 24 hours have passed since the last fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath) have improved.
  • Consider consultation with infection control experts.

Severely immunocompromised patients who remained asymptomatic throughout their infection:

  • At least 10 days and up to 20 days have passed since the date of their first positive viral diagnostic test.

Return to Work Practices and Work Restrictions

  • Wear a facemask at all times until all symptoms are completely resolved.
  • A face mask instead of a cloth face covering should be used during this time period.
  • Self-monitor for symptoms, and seek re-evaluation from doctor/nurse if symptoms recur or worsen.

Traveler’s Instructions

  • All travelers arriving to Lebanon must perform PCR Test 96 hours prior to the date of arrival and show the test result at the check-in counter before boarding.
  • All passengers must complete the Medical Form issued by the MOPH before boarding to Lebanon.
  • All employees coming from abroad are to share their PCR test results with the Response Team.
  • All employees coming from abroad are to be home isolated until the PCR test results are out.
  • If your spouse and/or dependents were traveling, they need to isolate themselves alone until the results of PCR are out. Otherwise, if they are coming from abroad and you have been in contact with them, please stay home until their PCR test results are out.

Food Delivery Instructions

  • Food Delivery is permitted if the employee is to receive his/her order off-premises and clean/spray the bag at the gate before entering the campus.
  • Gates that you can receive your delivery are: Electrical Gate | Under the Bus Gate - La Hoya Suites.
  • No guards are allowed to receive any order on your behalf.
  • No delivery man is allowed to wait next to the guards.

Sick Employees

  • Employees with a temperature of more than 37.5°C and feeling ill must not come to work.
  • Employees must inform the nurses and their supervisor if they are feeling unwell.
  • Any employee who will not “go home” will be asked to contact the Human Resources Office.
  • The nurses are allowed to contact and follow up with any sick employee who was sent home, and the employee’s cooperation is appreciated (all communication is kept confidential).
  • Employees can return to work once given the all-clear from the healthcare provider (Doctor/Nurses).

If an Employee is Sick with COVID-19:

  • Stay at home isolation for 14 days.
  • Stay home until all of your symptoms have resolved (cough, fever, sore throat, etc..).
  • Inform your supervisor and the Response Team so that your contacts can be traced and identified.
  • Do not come to work until you are free of symptoms for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications.
  • All family members should be home isolated for 14 days (do not send your children to school).

COVID-19 Vaccines

How does the immune system work?

When foreign substances, such as the virus that causes COVID-19, invade our bodies, they attack and multiply, causing illness. When the body senses the virus, the immune system uses several tools to fight it. White or immune blood cells (which are found in the blood) are triggered to make antibodies that will lock onto the virus and destroy it. Once the body has come into contact with the virus for the first time, it stores information about it and how to fight it; so that later on when it comes in contact with it again, it recognizes it and starts fighting it faster.

How does the COVID-19 Vaccine Work?

The COVID-19 Vaccine triggers our immune system to produce antibodies against it. It takes a few weeks for the body to produce antibodies after vaccination. Therefore, it is possible that a person could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after vaccination and then gets sick because the vaccine did not have enough time to provide protection. Sometimes after vaccination, the process of building immunity can cause symptoms, such as fever. These symptoms are normal and are a sign that the body is building immunity.

Types of Vaccines

There are four categories of COVID-19 vaccines. None of these vaccines can cause COVID-19 infection in the human body.

  • The whole virus vaccine is the conventional method of using whole viruses to trigger an immune response. There are two main approaches:
    • Live attenuated vaccines use a weakened form of the virus that can still replicate without causing illness.
    • Inactivated vaccines use viruses whose genetic material has been destroyed so they cannot replicate, but can still trigger an immune response.
  • Protein subunit vaccines include harmless protein pieces of the virus that cause COVID-19 instead of the entire germ. Once vaccinated, our immune system recognizes that the proteins don’t belong in the body and begins making T-lymphocytes and antibodies. If we are ever infected in the future, memory cells will recognize and fight the virus.
  • Nucleic Acid vaccines use genetic material – either RNA or DNA – to provide cells with the instructions to make the antigen. In the case of COVID-19, this is usually the viral spike protein. Once this genetic material gets into human cells, it uses our cells' protein factories to make the antigen that will trigger our immune response. Our bodies recognize the protein and build T and B-lymphocytes to fight the virus that causes COVID-19 if we are infected in the future.
  • Viral Vector vaccines work by using a harmless virus, different from the one the vaccine is targeting, to deliver these instructions into the cell. One type of virus that has often been used as a vector is adenovirus, which causes the common cold. It contains a weakened version of a live virus—that has genetic material from the virus that causes COVID-19 inserted in it (this is called a viral vector). Once the viral vector is inside our cells, the genetic material gives cells instructions to make a protein that is unique to the virus that causes COVID-19. Using these instructions, our cells make copies of the protein. This prompts our bodies to build T-lymphocytes and B-lymphocytes that will remember how to fight that virus if we are infected in the future.

Stopping a pandemic requires using all the tools available. Vaccines work with your immune system so your body will be ready to fight the virus if you are exposed. Other steps, like masks and social distancing, help reduce your chance of being exposed to the virus or spreading it to others. Together, COVID-19 vaccination and following the WHO, MOPH, and CDC’s recommendations to protect yourself and others will offer the best protection from COVID-19.

How many COVID-19 vaccines are available in Lebanon and distributed by MOPH up till now?

Please click here to learn more.

Would other Vaccines will be available soon?

Other vaccines are either in Phase 3 clinical trials or started being administered in other countries. Please click here to learn more.

Why can’t herd immunity happen with COVID-19?

'Herd immunity', also known as 'population immunity', is the indirect protection from an infectious disease that happens when a population is immune either through vaccination or immunity developed through a previous infection. WHO supports achieving 'herd immunity' through vaccination, not by allowing a disease to spread through any segment of the population, as this would result in unnecessary cases and deaths (acquired from the WHO website).

Is it important to get vaccinated?

Vaccines are safe and save lives. It is very important to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and to become protected against the illness.

How do we know if COVID-19 vaccines are safe?

There are strict protections in place to help ensure the safety of all COVID-19 vaccines. Before receiving validation from WHO and national regulatory agencies, COVID-19 vaccines must undergo rigorous testing in clinical trials to prove that they meet internationally agreed benchmarks for safety and effectiveness.

Would there be side effects to the vaccine? Any toxic side effects in the future?

Side effects might include slight fever, chills, and headache for not more than 24 hours after taking the vaccine. The approved vaccines are safe otherwise they would not have been authorized.

Can someone vaccinated for COVID-19 spread the virus? Do I need to wear a mask after being vaccinated?

People who receive a COVID-19 vaccine can still spread the virus on to others and should continue following prevention measures (wearing a mask and social distancing).

When will someone be protected against COVID-19 after receiving the vaccine?

After a few weeks of receiving the vaccine in order for the body to produce antibodies.

Would the vaccine protect from the new COVID-19 Variant? What is the new COVID-19 Variant?

Mutation causes the virus to be much more transmissible from person to person. This does not make the people more sicker, nor does it interact with the vaccine.

Can an Immunosuppressed person receive the COVID-19 vaccine?

Yes, with the advice of their doctor.

Do COVID-19 vaccines cause COVID-19 disease?

No, they don’t.

Are the ingredients in the COVID-19 vaccine more potent than the COVID-19 infection?

Absolutely not.

Will the vaccine change my DNA?

Not at all.

Do they provide a “Nanochip” into the arm for tracking and detection?

No.

COVID-19 vaccination protocol as announced by the Lebanese Ministry of Public Health - General information for all COVID-19 Vaccines:

  • Pfizer (mRNA) vaccine is authorized by WHO in the first stage and is taken in 2 doses 3 weeks apart.
  • Not mandatory but highly recommended and is required when traveling.
  • Given according to the priority groups.
  • Free of charge.
  • For all people living on the Lebanese territories.
  • The COVID-19 vaccination plan is scheduled to run for the whole year until we have at least 70-80% of the population vaccinated.
  • For all types of shelters (orphanages, elderly centers, etc.), designated groups from MOHP will go to these centers to vaccinate them.

Schedule of vaccination for designated groups (you can know your specified group according to your job, age, and medical condition):

Please click here to learn more.

To register your name for taking the COVID-19 vaccine, please follow these steps:

  • Step One: Log on to the MOPH site here.
  • Step Two: Select your category from the two categories listed on the form (Healthcare Worker or Others).
  • Step Three: Complete all the four sections listed on the form.
  • Step Four: Receive a confirmation code on your phone sent by the MOPH; copy this code to the window that appears on the screen and send it to the MOPH.
  • Step Five: Receive a confirmation message from MOPH regarding the date and time of vaccination.

NB - If you have any chronic medical conditions as specified by the MOHP, you need to mention when filling the registration form:

  • Obese more than 40 % of BMI
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Cardiac conditions
  • Kidney dialysis
  • Cancer patients especially lung cancer patients
  • Immunosuppressed
  • Kidney transplant
  • AIDS
  • Lung fibrosis
  • Tuberculosis
  • Neurological diseases
  • Rheumatoid diseases

Definitions / Glossary of Terms

What’s the difference between cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing?

Cleaning removes germs, disinfecting kills germs, and sanitizing lowers the number of germs on a surface. Source: CDC

Bubble

A group of students allocated to a specific teacher(s), completing all lessons and break times with their fellow bubble students and adults. Students do not have contact with others in other bubbles. The concept of teaching in bubbles started in order to identify and quarantine quickly and efficiently if a student tests positive for COVID-19.

Blended Learning

In the blended learning model, the campus is open, however not all the students are on campus at the same time. Students will learn in person and in digital spaces in asynchronous and synchronous environments.

Synchronous Learning

Synchronous Learning is online or distance education that happens in real-time. This means students interact in a specific virtual place through a specific online medium at a specific time.

Asynchronous Learning

Asynchronous Learning occurs through online channels without real-time interaction. In this mode, students will be provided with work, reading, assignments, and requirements that need to be satisfied and submitted within a flexible timeframe.

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