COVID-19 Protocols and Procedures
Our current Reopening Plan, as approved by the Board of Education and our School Medical Director, requires isolation and quarantine periods of 10 days. We will communicate any changes to this plan, including any changes to isolation and quarantine periods, prior to their implementation.
As a District, we are committed to maintaining the safest in-person environment possible for our students, staff, and visitors. This commitment brings with it the responsibility to ensure that any proposed changes to our Reopening Plan are evaluated thoroughly and further our efforts to remain open for in-person learning.
Yesterday, January 3, we became aware of potential changes to isolation protocol recommendations, including a reduction from 10 days of isolation to 5 days of isolation, provided certain conditions are met. At present, we are actively seeking further clarification and guidance on this issue. While these recommendations may be effective in certain circumstances, we are evaluating the extent to which they will be effective in school and classroom settings. Short, community-based interactions with a COVID-19 positive individual that may pose minimal risk of transmission differ significantly from school and classroom settings in which the same individuals occupy the same space for extended periods of time, as much as 6 hours or more.
Another change in recommendations is in regard to the 10-day quarantine period. Oneida County is allowing districts to participate in a Test-to-Stay program which allows for close contacts to continue to attend school/work so long as certain conditions are met, including masking and regular negative COVID-19 test results. We intend to participate in this program, and have developed and submitted our plan to Oneida County for review and approval. Our ability to participate in this program will largely be dependent upon our ability to obtain adequate testing supplies. Our current supply is not sufficient; however, we are actively pursuing the acquisition of additional testing supplies to allow our District to participate in this program.
As always, we continue to work collaboratively and cooperatively with Oneida County officials and our School Medical Director to ensure our Reopening Plan is compliant with any required changes and provides the safest environment possible.