The following letter from Superintendent Guntlow was emailed to all Ichabod Crane families and staff on October 27. After some questions from families and staff following our communications yesterday, Ms. Guntlow wanted to check in to explain why some students and staff are mandated or precautionarily quarantined while others in their household are free to return to school, work, etc.

Find Ms. Guntlow’s letter in English and Spanish below, as well as the guidance document from the New York State Dept. of Health which breaks down the difference between someone being classified as “Contact” or a “Contact of a Contact”.

If you are having trouble opening the PDF above, the text of Superintendent Guntlow’s letter is also available below.


October 27, 2020 

Dear Parents, Guardians and Staff,

Due to the recently confirmed case of COVID in the Primary School, we were required to temporarily close one building, shift to remote learning and place students/staff under mandatory quarantine and precautionary quarantine. I’m sharing the current CDC/DOH guidance for “contacts of contacts” to help to answer some of your questions about why some students are mandated or precautionarily quarantined while others in their household are free to return to school, work, etc.  

As more cases of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) are identified or suspected across New York State, it is important to understand the NYS DOH guidance on “contacts of contacts” for a suspected or confirmed case.  

If a symptom-free (asymptomatic) individual is notified that they have had direct or proximate contact with a confirmed case, they will be required to be under quarantine as a precaution. A spouse, child or another household member of that person is considered a “contact of a contact” and per DOH guidance does not need to quarantine. NYS DOH guidance states a contact to a contact is “not at risk for infection and would not be subject to quarantine unless the contact to the confirmed case had or developed symptoms, or tested positive for the virus causing COVID-19.”  The guidance document from the NYS DOH explaining this is in full is attached for your reference. 

Under guidance from the Columbia County DOH, one Primary School classroom of students and several staff members were placed under mandatory quarantine since it was confirmed they were in direct or proximate contact with the positive student. Out of an abundance of extreme caution, a number of Middle and High School students and staff were placed on a precautionary quarantine while close contacts of the positive student are being tested. The district took this extra precaution in order to be 100% confident the future risk of ongoing exposure was mitigated prior to reopening the Middle and High School for students and staff. 

If anyone in your household who has been quarantined begins showing any COVID related symptoms, please be sure to keep their siblings at home and contact your building principal or school nurse ASAP to discuss proper procedures. 

Please know we are continuing our due diligence with every situation that arises and working closely with the Columbia County DOH to investigate all possible risks to mitigate them to the best of our ability. Student and staff safety remains our top priority and we appreciate your patience and understanding as we all work together to safely navigate this school year.  

Sincerely,

Suzanne Guntlow 
Superintendent 
Ichabod Crane Central School District