Dear Ichabod Crane Families,
New York State COVID-19 guidance for schools continues to evolve, and as anticipated late last week the New York State Department of Health provided districts with new guidance documents that included updates on isolation, quarantines and contact tracing.
Recognizing how quickly these protocols have been changing, the attached information including links and an easy-to-read chart is being provided to help families interpret the latest guidance and what it means for Ichabod Crane students. Please take a few minutes to read through these important changes which become effective today.
Contact Tracing at School
The New York State Department of Health has ended its contact tracing program. Similarly, school districts are also no longer required to conduct contact tracing when students/staff test positive or are exposed to COVID-19. This was also reaffirmed in a January 18th memo from the New York State Education Department.
However, recognizing that health and safety guidelines remain in place for those exposed, we will continue with a modified version of contact tracing. We will still notify students and staff identified as a close contact to a positive case of COVID-19 at school. However, you will no longer receive a call from the local health department if your student was exposed to COVID-19 in any setting.
Quarantine and Isolation
You will no longer receive quarantine and isolation affirmation or release forms from the Columbia County Department of Health. Individuals are now expected to complete affirmations on their own on an as needed basis at the conclusion of their isolation or quarantine period.
If you need a note for your employer for proof of quarantine or isolation for you or your student, please use the appropriate form below provided by the NYS Department of Health.
- NYS Affirmation of Quarantine (For those exposed to COVID-19)
- NYS Affirmation of Isolation (For those who have tested positive for COVID-19)
If your student tests positive or needs to quarantine they will continue to receive remote instruction from their teacher. Your student will only be eligible for remote learning if they need to isolate or quarantine at home due to COVID-19.
If your student tests positive or is exposed to COVID-19 you should follow the latest quarantine and isolation guidelines provided on the chart at the end of this email.
Self Reporting COVID-19 Cases to the District
Ichabod Crane families should continue to immediately self-report COVID-19 cases to the district by contacting the school nurse directly.
Home Testing Program
Students, teachers, and staff who are not vaccinated or have not fully completed a primary vaccine series (defined as two weeks after the receipt of two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or one dose of Johnson and Johnson) are eligible to participate in the district’s home testing program that will allow them to stay in the school setting throughout the duration of the quarantine period. Quarantine recommendations would still apply for all activities outside of school.
Families who want to participate in the home testing program will receive home tests from their student’s school once identified as a close contact to a positive COVID-19 person and must follow these steps in order to remain in school:
- After COVID exposure, test your student on the morning of day 3 and day 5 before bringing them to school or boarding the bus.
- If negative and asymptomatic, your student may report to school. Note: The school nurse will also be checking in with students at school to monitor for any signs of symptoms and ensure testing at-home is going well.
- If positive or symptoms start, report it to your school nurse, keep the student home and begin isolation.
For families who do not want to participate in the home testing program, your student would be required to complete 5 days of quarantine at home before returning to school.
As always, I truly appreciate all your patience and collaboration as we navigate this frequent, ever-changing guidance for our schools.