Last week we were notified that we had two elementary students that tested positive for COVID-19. As of today, those two cases are the only ones the district is aware of. When notified, we immediately engaged with our partners at the Washington County Department of Health. They began their protocol for contact tracing which includes interviewing all of the contacts the positive individuals had inside and outside of school. As you can imagine, this process takes a great deal of time. To be clear, this communication is the responsibility of the county. The school district does not make the decision of who should be quarantined. All calls relating to a quarantine would come directly from the New York State Contract Tracers.
On Sunday morning, I talked with our County Health partners to get information on who had been directed to self quarantine. We learned that an entire second grade classroom had received that direction so the educational decision was made to have the quarantined teacher and her students learn remotely through September 24th, returning to in person learning on September 25th. When the teacher began her notification to students we learned some families had not been contacted by the department of health. This was unfortunate. I expressed my frustration with the county and we are working to expedite our communication process for the future.
As of right now, September 14th, the Department of Health is following state guidelines on quarantine orders. If it is determined that someone has had direct exposure to a COVID-19 positive individual that person will be issued a 14 day quarantine direction from the county. As long as that person does not develop symptoms they will be the only person in their household required to quarantine. Siblings, parents, and others with contact with the quarantined person may go about their normal activities.
Strictly following the NYSDOH guidelines, in the case of a classroom exposure, the entire class and teacher will receive a quarantine notice from the county. When the district is notified, we will plan for remote learning for the quarantined students.
As always, please feel free to contact your primary care physician with questions regarding COVID-19 and quarantine orders. Thank you for your patience and support as we work through this new and challenging process.