January 24, 2022
Good afternoon, staff, and families:
The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) has decided that they will no longer be contact tracing potential COVID exposures for individuals. In a communication from NYSDOH to school districts on Thursday, January 20th, they also stated that schools are no longer required to contact trace either. In consideration of this change by the state and based on the data, students who have been quarantined due to an exposure on the bus, in the classroom or during breakfast or lunch, have very rarely contracted COVID from that exposure.
Rather than conducting individual contact tracing, the district will work closely with the Seneca County Health Department (SCHD) to do cluster/cohort contact tracing when there appears to be multiple cases within a setting or cohort (team, classroom, lunch, bus, etc.). A cluster outbreak and subsequent investigation will be determined by SCHD based on multiple and proportionate cases within a setting or cohort.
Since contact tracing is no longer required by the state or county, families of children who are exposed to a positive case will no longer receive a phone call from the state or county. Families should communicate with their school nurse if they have questions or are looking for direction regarding their child’s potential exposure to a positive case outside (home/community) of the school setting.
Additionally, quarantine protocols are still required if there is a positive case in the home and the student(s)/staff member is
● or vaccinated and experiencing symptoms;
● or cannot isolate from the positive case.
Also, please remember, if your student (or you as a staff member), tests positive for COVID, or placed in quarantine due to a contact outside (home/community) of the school setting, notify your school nurse (or supervisor for a staff member) and fill out the county attestation form, which can be accessed at the link below.
From Seneca County Health Department Website:
Please complete the form below ONLY if you tested positive for COVID-19 using a home test. If you received Positive test results from a Lab, Urgent Care, Doctors Office, Hospital or Negative test result, they do not need to be reported.
Please note: Positive home test results submitted through our website will be entered into the system on the next business day, at which time isolation orders will be issued to your email address. If you need isolation orders immediately, you can download and print them from our Isolation & Quarantine Information page.
For those students/staff currently in quarantine, you must complete the quarantine period as this change does not shorten or end a quarantine order.
It is more important than ever that we continue to stay home when sick, practice proper hand hygiene and physical distancing, and properly wear face coverings indoors in public places, to minimize the risk of spread and exposure. Safeguarding the health and safety of our schools and their programs starts with each of us individually. Please continue to practice these safety precautions and take our daily health screenings and respond accordingly so that we reduce the chance of infection to others.
Students and staff must stay home if they are exhibiting symptoms and call the school nurse and their physician for next steps. Coming to school/work sick without consulting your physician and/or being tested is the greatest risk to others and to disrupting in-person instruction and/or programs. Please refer to the flowchart (Student, teacher, or staff member with No Known Exposure) on our website under the COVID button from the Seneca County Department of Health to follow appropriate procedures when experiencing symptoms. https://www.senecafallscsd.org/district/covid-19
Thank you for your continued cooperation, support and understanding as we react to the continuous and ongoing changes in requirements and protocols shared with us by our state.
Superintendent of Schools