COVID update: Tests, quarantines, DOH clinic

COVID update: Tests, quarantines, DOH clinic
Posted on 12/30/2021
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Dear C-R Families –

 I hope this message finds you and your family enjoying the holiday break. It’s so important, especially in these challenging times, that we all have an opportunity to relax, recharge and recalibrate. I extend to you my warmest wishes as the New Year approaches.

As we prepare to resume classes on Monday (Jan. 3), I’d like to provide an update on some of our pandemic-related protocols. Changes to testing and quarantine procedures are rapidly evolving at the state and national level, and this new guidance will impact schools across our region.

Here is a summary of the developments and how they relate to C-R:

  • The Omicron variant is leading to a rapid rise in cases across the state. The cases are affecting all age groups, including children and students. However, we are confident the health and safety protocols we have in place allow us to safely resume classes on Monday as planned. We remain fully committed to having our schools open for in-person learning so long as we can safely do so.

  • There is perhaps no more important protocol in our plan than this: Please keep your children home from school if they are sick. The symptoms associated with COVID (and particularly with this latest variant) often resemble those of the common cold or flu: cough, runny nose, low-grade fever, etc. If your child has any of these symptoms, he or she must stay home from school and receive either a negative COVID test or alternate diagnosis from a doctor before returning. 

  • As you may have seen in media reports, Governor Hochul has indicated COVID-19 rapid tests will be sent to all school districts for distribution following the winter break. At this point, though, we have not received the tests. As soon as we have more information about how and when these will be available, we will share it with all of our staff and families. 

  • Relatedly, we understand that frequent and repeated quarantines have created real hardships. We are working diligently to develop a “test to stay” program. “Test to stay” permits students who are exposed to COVID, but have no symptoms, to take a series of rapid tests over the course of several days in lieu of quarantine. Before this program can begin, we need a sufficient supply of rapid tests and clear guidance from health officials as to testing protocols. Once again, we will share more information as soon as it’s available.

  • The Schoharie County Health Department is holding a COVID-19 vaccination clinic at Ryder Elementary School on Wednesday, Jan. 5, from 4 to 6:30 p.m. The vaccine will offer the Pfizer booster, Moderna booster and pediatric (ages 5 to 11) Pfizer vaccine. To register, use the following links: Pfizer booster // Moderna booster // Pfizer vaccine.

Finally, I cannot emphasize enough how much we appreciate your patience and partnership. This school year, we have seen a total of 117 confirmed COVID cases in our school community. However, thanks in large part to your diligence and compliance with our health and safety protocols, we have avoided any widespread transmission of COVID within our schools.

Please accept my very best wishes for a safe, enjoyable New Year.

Sincerely,

Carl J. Mummenthey

Superintendent of Schools