elementary students in school wearing masks

Dear William Floyd school community:

As you may have heard via various news reports or government announcements, there have been some changes to the quarantining requirements for students and staff (reduction to five days), as well as the introduction and implementation of a “Test-to-Stay” option for unvaccinated individuals AND those who are not fully vaccinated (fully vaccinated is defined as two weeks after the receipt of either two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or one dose of Johnson & Johnson - the booster is not currently required to be considered fully vaccinated) to avoid exclusion from school for five days. This new Test-to-Stay option, which is for in-school exposures only, is accomplished through serial testing using rapid NAAT viral diagnostic tests or antigen tests during a five-day period following exposure.

Test-to-Stay only applies to those who are unvaccinated and had an in-school exposure. These individuals must three times over a five-day period (day 1, day 3 or 4 and day 5) in order to stay in school or work and avoid a five-day quarantine. It also does not apply to those who test positive.

Additionally, New York State has provided our district with several thousand testing kits, which will be used for this Test-to-Stay option. Test kits will be made available to students and staff who have been identified as close contacts and are unvaccinated. We will not be handing them out en masse at this time.

Test-to-Stay is voluntary and only for those parents who agree to test their children at home (three times over a five-day period) to avoid a mandatory five-day quarantine. If parents do not wish to test their children, they have the option to decline the test kits and adhere to the five-day quarantine.

Please click here for the “Interim Updated Isolation & Quarantine Guidance” memo from the New York State Department of Health.

Please click here to refer to an easy-to-understand chart outlining the changes (also available in Spanish). It is also pictured below.

First page of the PDF file: WFSD-COVID-19ScreeningFlowchart-Updated1-11-22_lastupdated4pm_1

The COVID-19 Return to Work/School Flowchart last updated with new regulations on January 11, 2022 (also available in Spanish).

Below are some questions and answers that you might find helpful regarding some of the new rules and changes instituted by government and health department officials.

What are the state/county requirements for a positive case?
Regardless of vaccination status, all individuals who test positive are subject to a five-day isolation.

What if I have been identified as a close contact in a school setting?
Please refer to this chart outlining the changes (also available in Spanish). In summary, those who are vaccinated (with a booster or not yet eligible for a booster), there is no requirement to quarantine. A test is recommended but not required. Please monitor for symptoms and test if become symptomatic.

For those who are vaccinated and have not received a booster (if eligible) or unvaccinated, the option for Test-to-Stay is available. To participate in Test-to-Stay:

1) Parent/guardian must sign an attestation agreeing to test with district-provided kits;
2) Parents must administer three tests and all must be negative each time to continue attending school;
3) Any positive test must be reported and will result in a five-day quarantine;
4) Positive individuals are not permitted to attend school;
5) Individual must quarantine at all times when outside of the school setting;
6) No extracurricular activities or participation in sports until end of quarantine.

What if I have been identified as a close contact outside of a school setting?

For those who are vaccinated (with a booster or not yet eligible for a booster), there is no requirement to quarantine. A test is recommended but not required. Please monitor for symptoms and test if become symptomatic.

For those who are vaccinated and have not received a booster (if eligible) or unvaccinated, a five-day quarantine is required. People in this category are not eligible for Test-to-Stay as exposure was outside of a school setting.

Can the Test-To-Stay option be used if identified as a close contact outside of a school setting?
No, please see question above. The Test-to-Stay option is only available for close contacts resulting from exposure in a school setting.

What if an individual presents with symptoms of COVID-19?
Regardless of vaccination status, the protocol is the same. Do not come to school/work until symptoms are clear and a negative test result has been received. Testing is required.

What if I am unable to secure a testing appointment or find a test kit?
The district plans on using its allocation of test kits for the Test-to-Stay option. However, the district has set aside some test kits that are available upon request for students who are exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms.

Our effort and aim is to keep schools open and operating for our students and families in a safe manner. We do not plan to switch to remote or virtual instruction unless we are mandated to do so by New York State or we are unable to stay open due to staffing issues. If the latter occurs, then the switch to remote would only be on an as-needed basis per affected building. Thank you for your cooperation, understanding and partnership throughout these challenging times. We will keep you updated in a timely manner on anything that changes. Please stay safe and healthy this year and always.

Sincerely,

Kevin M. Coster
Superintendent of Schools

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