Return to School Protocol from DOH

October 8, 2020

Dear Parents & Guardians,

Late last week, the New York State Department of Health (DOH) released a document titled “Pre-K to Gr 12 COVID-19 Toolkit.” This document provides statewide guidance regarding student and staff attendance as it relates to COVID-19. It answers questions such as:

  • Can my child go to school today?
  • My child has COVID-19 symptoms. When can they go back to school?

As a reminder, students who have one or more COVID-19 symptoms must be evaluated by a health care provider within 48 hours of symptom(s) appearing (see enclosed sheet for symptoms). Many illnesses and conditions can present with any of these symptoms. Since school nurses are not diagnosticians, ANY symptom must be evaluated by a doctor and the DOH “Return to School” protocol must be completed before returning to school.

The current “Return to School” protocol from the DOH requires one of the following before a student may return to school after being sent home with one or more COVID-19 symptoms:

  1. Documentation from a health care provider following evaluation stating the student may return to school (based on the DOH guidance, we cannot accept medical documentation that simply states, “The student is able to return to school with no restrictions;” the medical documentation must include an explanation of the alternate non-COVID diagnosis), OR
  2. A negative COVID-19 diagnostic test result, OR
  3. A 14-day quarantine

If a student is diagnosed with COVID-19 by a health care provider, they may return to school after the local DOH releases them from isolation/quarantine. Please see these DOH flowcharts illustrating the above protocols.

Any documentation indicating your child may return to school must be provided to the school nurse. If you need to submit documentation outside of school hours, please email a clear copy to amccabe@cairodurham.org and we will make sure the nurse receives it. Please contact your school nurse with any concerns or questions:

  • Elementary School: 518-622-3231 ext. 37000 (phone) or 518-622-9060 (fax)
  • Middle/High School: 518-622-0490 ext. 47000 (phone) or 518-622-0493 (fax)

We appreciate your diligence in following these new guidelines. We know these guidelines can be burdensome, and we all are trying to get used to a new way of doing things. Thank you for your patience and cooperation as we work together to do our part to reduce the spread of COVID-19. We can, and will, get through this by working together.

Sincerely,

Michael Wetherbee
Superintendent of Schools