10/5 | Updated DOH Guidance
Dear VCSD Community,
On Sept. 30, 2020, the New York State Department of Health released a “Pre-K to Gr 12 COVID-19 Toolkit” containing updated guidance related to student and staff attendance for those who are symptomatic or test positive for COVID-19. Please use these toolkits to determine if your child or a staff member should go to school or work, and when a child or staff member is ready to return to school or work after symptoms/illness.
All schools in New York state, including the Voorheesville Central School District are required to submit a daily report to the state of any confirmed cases of COVID-19 linked to a school. The COVID-19 Report Card is available to the public on the New York State Department of Health website and includes daily case statistics from schools throughout the state.
The Voorheesville Central School District is required to report not only confirmed positive COVID cases connected to the school, but also any instance where someone (such as a student or employee) has shown symptoms of the coronavirus for at least 48 hours, but has not been tested or has not received a conclusive alternative diagnosis within that time. In such instances, the district must proceed as if that individual is positive, and report it as a positive case to local and state authorities.
In addition, the state dashboard includes a number that is an estimate of “Lab Reported Positives based on Residential Address” as part of its school COVID Report Card. This estimate may differ from the number of cases that are directly related to the school district, and may include students who reside within the district, but do not attend Voorheesville Central School District schools. Individual school data on the dashboard is listed separately below this estimated number.
As you know, everyone who enters our school building[s] is being asked to screen for possible COVID-19 symptoms. Those who are ill are asked to stay home. We wanted to clarify what needs to happen before students and staff can return to school after falling ill or showing COVID-19 symptoms.
If a student or employee has shown symptoms of the coronavirus, one of the following must take place before that person can return to school:
- Your health-care provider gives you a conclusive diagnosis of something other than COVID-19;
- You test negative for COVID-19; or
- You are released from isolation by the Department of Health.
Students and employees will be asked to provide documentation from a health care provider of an alternative diagnosis, or a negative COVID test result.
The Department of Health will isolate anyone who is symptomatic for 48 hours and does not receive an alternative diagnosis or a negative COVID test result. If test results do not come within 48 hours or if anyone who is symptomatic for 48 hours does not get a test done, the district will presume that as a positive case. We will have to report that case to the Department of Health and share this information with the community.
We are aware that these protocols may present challenges for some families, but please know that these protocols are not simply school or district policy. Only the Health Department has the power to release individuals from isolation, which would then allow them to return to the school.
If you have any questions, please contact your school nurse.