Dear Oak Hill Parents and Guardians,
As you are likely aware, there has been a surge in the number of COVID-19 cases reported in our counties over the last few weeks. In addition, the latest guidance from the CDC and NYS Department of Health will affect the way that our two counties handle quarantines and isolations. We have noted that not all counties are operating under the same rules and therefore it is always best to check in with your local DOH.
Isolation Guideline Updated
-Isolate for 5 days, where day 0 is the day of symptom onset or (if asymptomatic) the day of collection of the first positive specimen.
- If asymptomatic at the end of 5 days or if symptoms are resolving, isolation ends and the individual should wear a well-fitting mask while around others for an additional 5 days.
- Individuals who are moderately-severely immunocompromised should continue to follow standard (i.e., not shortened) Isolation Guidance.
- Individuals who are unable to wear a well-fitting mask for 5 days after a 5-day isolation should also follow standard (i.e., not shortened) Isolation Guidance.
Quarantine Guidelines Updated
-If exposed to COVID-19, quarantine as follows, where day 0 is the last date of exposure:
- If not fully vaccinated or fully vaccinated and eligible for a booster but not yet boosted, quarantine for 5 days and wear a well-fitting mask while around others for an additional 5 days.
- If fully vaccinated and boosted (with the booster at least 2 weeks before the first date of exposure) or not yet eligible for a booster, no quarantine is required but these individuals should wear a well-fitting mask while around others for 10 days after the last date of exposure.
- If possible, test at day 5 with either a nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT, e.g., PCR) or antigen test.
Remember that any isolation and quarantine orders come from Local Departments of Health and not the school. Please review the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control, NYS DOH and the Saratoga County and Schenectady County Department of Health websites. We will do our best to support these guidelines.
COVID-19 Testing to Permit Return to School After COVID-Like Symptoms
If individuals who develop COVID-19 like symptoms and have no known exposure to someone with COVID-19, they can return to school activities with a negative PCR test, negative lab antigen test, or two negative Over the Counter (OTC) antigen tests taken 36 hours apart. Symptomatic individuals must be well enough to participate in school, not have rhinorrhea/runny nose or cough severe enough to make mask wearing difficult or unhygienic, and be fever-free for at least 24 hours without use of fever-reducing medications. If using the OTC rapid tests at home the attached attestation must be filled out by the person performing the tests, signed, and provided to the school upon return or prior.
-Additionally, here is the link for people to use in order to self-report positive rapid OTC tests with Schenectady County: https://www.schenectadycounty.com/covid19/selfreporting
-And, here is the link for people to use in order to self-report positive rapid OTC tests with Saratoga County:https://www.saratogacountyny.gov/covid/covid-19-testing/report-positive-covid-self-tests/
***Here is the appointment link for Schenectady County’s new testing site at the Ellis McClellan campus (600 McClellan St, Schenectady) in the former Primary Care Plus space. This testing site is for PCR tests and is intended for use by students, employees, and families in order to stay in/return to school.***
If a healthcare provider makes a diagnosis of a confirmed non-COVID-19 acute illness (e.g. laboratory-confirmed influenza or strep-throat) AND COVID-19 is not suspected, then a note signed by the healthcare provider explaining the alternate diagnosis may be provided to allow a student, teacher, or staff member to participate in school without COVID-19 testing.
Getting the vaccine is the best way to protect yourself, your family, and your community from the virus that causes COVID-19. The available vaccines are safe and highly effective against severe illness, hospitalization, and death due to COVID-19.
Once your child gets vaccinated please let me know for our records. Another benefit of being vaccinated is that in cases where a known exposure happens, vaccinated individuals are NOT required to quarantine unless they become symptomatic. This is so important, as it is our highest priority to keep our students in school as much as possible.
You have a few easy ways to find free COVID-19 vaccines near you:
- Call your child’s primary care provider or local pharmacy
- Call your local health department – many are holding vaccine PODs where you can walk-in with no appointments necessary
- Go to vaccines.gov
- Text your zip code to 438829
- Call 1-800-232-0233
As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out.