The New York State Department of Health recently updated its guidance on COVID isolation and quarantine, which formally ends its contact tracing requirements.
While the new guidance (and a January 18th memo from the New York State Education Department) states that schools are no longer required to do contact tracing, we will continue to do a modified version of contact tracing for any positive cases within our buildings.
If you are notified by school personnel that your child is a close contact, you must follow the guidance from the State Department of Health found here.
Please note that you will no longer receive a phone call or quarantine/isolation affirmation or release forms from the county health department. Individuals are now expected to complete these on their own at the conclusion of their isolation or quarantine period. These forms can be found here – quarantine, isolation.
Additional information on New York State’s approach to isolation and quarantine can be found online at https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/new-york-state-contact-tracing.
We will continue to provide additional at-home test kits to families as they are distributed by the state as part of a home test option. This will allow your child to remain in school if identified as a close contact as long as they test negative at home (see below for more information). If your child becomes ill at school, we will be able to test them using our point-of-care testing machines (based on your prior consent).
Home Testing Program for Close Contacts
Cairo-Durham’s Home Testing Program will allow asymptomatic unvaccinated close contacts (students or staff) to attend classes by testing negative through home testing using rapid antigen tests (commonly known as over-the-counter home tests) twice during a five-day period following exposure.
Any student who is identified as an unvaccinated close contact will be given test kits by the District.
Testing must occur on the mornings of Day 3 and then again on Day 5 prior to the start of the school day (e.g., if the date of exposure was Friday/Day 0, the first test should be administered on Monday/Day 3 and the second test should be administered on Wednesday/Day 5). If the test result is negative, your child may attend school that day. If the result is positive, your child should isolate and follow all isolation guidance and the positive result should be reported to the school by emailing email@example.com as well as the Greene County Public Health Department here.
If the exposed contact develops symptoms, they must be immediately excluded from school per current school guidance (January 14, 2022), get tested, and follow isolation guidance.
The District will utilize the home test kits that have been provided by New York State through Questar III BOCES.
This change in state guidance shifts us toward more personal responsibility and accountability. Ultimately, the best way to avoid being a close contact or risk infecting others is to continue following our mitigation protocols, including physical distancing, wearing a well-fitting mask (unless eating or drinking), and staying home if you are sick.
Thank you for your continued cooperation, flexibility, and patience throughout the pandemic.