Dear Oak Hill Parents and Guardians,
As you most likely are aware, health and safety guidance from the state and local health departments related to COVID-19 continues to evolve. As always, we remain committed to keeping our students in school, while providing a safe learning environment for all. We also remain committed to providing staff and families with clear, updated information on the latest guidance as it relates to COVID-19 testing, quarantine and isolation.
Effective immediately, the state requirement for universal masking in P-12 school settings, as well as on school buses or vans, ended on March 2, 2022. The department of health recommends masking of students, staff, and teachers when:
- They feel more comfortable wearing a mask for personal reasons
- They were in the same room within the school as someone diagnosed with COVID-19 for 15 minutes or longer and were this exposed or potentially exposed
- They are known to have been exposed to COVID-19 in any setting within the previous 10 days
- They are moderately-to-severely immunocompromised and have discussed the need to mask with their healthcare provider(s)
We will continue our due diligence with regard to notifying impacted staff and families if we learn about a positive case. This type of notification will ask staff and families to monitor for symptoms, but will not necessarily result in anyone being identified as a close contact and being excluded from school. In a situation like this, you can expect a phone call from our school nurse, notifying you of the potential exposure so that you can monitor your child for symptoms, and information about getting them tested if symptoms should arise.
Testing in a school setting with reduced mask usage:
In the absence of a statewide masking requirement, COVID-19 testing remains a recommended public health strategy for surveillance and to identify infected individuals quickly so that they can isolate and avoid spreading COVID-19 further. Oak Hill School has been provided with Over-the-counter tests to be distributed among our students. Each student will receive 2 test kits. We are in the process of distributing tests to ensure that they are delivered/picked up to each student’s parent/guardian safely; updates on this to come.
When to test:
- Consider testing immediately upon learning of an exposure or potential exposure
- At least 5 days after the last date of exposure or potential exposure, regardless of vaccination status
- Exclude from school if a test is positive and/or exclude from school and test as soon as possible is symptoms develop
- Exception: Individuals with lab-confirmed COVID-19 within the past 3 months do not need to get tested unless they develop symptoms
Symptomatic individuals, regardless of vaccination status or recent infection, should stay home until tests and if positive or not test, should isolate for 5 days, or not have rhinorrhea (runny nose), severe cough, and be fever free for at least 24-hours without the use of fever-reducing medications.
Exposed individuals, regardless of vaccination status, may remain in school by appropriately wearing a well-fitting mask and undergoing recommended testing. If we become aware of failure to comply with recommended testing, then individuals who are not up to date on COVID-19 vaccination should stay home for 5 days after exposure. Individuals who are up to date on COVID-19 vaccination will be encouraged to complete the recommended testing but are not required to be excluded from school.
Local health departments are encouraged to assess conditions and tailor guidance to their jurisdiction. Information can be found on your local county department of health websites, as well as the New York State Department of Health and CDC websites:
- Schenectady County: https://www.schenectadycounty.com/COVID19
- Albany County: https://www.albanycounty.com/departments/health/coronavirus-covid-19
- Saratoga County:
- Greene County: https://www.greenegovernment.com/response-to-the-2019-novel-coronavirus-covid-19-in-greene-county-ny?CB=9850
- Montgomery County: https://montgomerycountymd.gov/covid19/
- Rensselaer County: https://www.rensco.com/departments/public-health/
- Warren County: https://warrencountyny.gov/healthservices/coronavirus
- Washington County: https://washingtoncountyny.gov/1147/Coronavirus-Information
- New York State Department of Health: https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/new-york-state-contact-tracing
- Centers for Disease Control (CDC): https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/quarantine-isolation.html
Thank you for your continued partnership as we work to keep our students and staff healthy, and our students in school. If you have any questions or concerns about masking, COVID-19 testing, or other health and safety protocols, please do not hesitate to call or email our school nurse at (518) 399-5048 and [email protected]
This letter will also be posted to our website so that you can access the links easier. As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out.