COVID-19 TESTING AND CONTACT TRACING
Latest Update | January 28, 2022
Westchester County schools are no longer required to conduct contact tracing which includes reporting results to the Westchester County DOH. Rather, the District is only required to send a letter to the entire district with updates about a positive case in a school. We will continue to do this for all students.
However, in Greenburgh, we have decided to go beyond this current requirement at the elementary level. We will have our principals send an additional letter to parents with children in grades pre-K through 6 notifying them if their child has come into close contact with a COVID-19 positive individual in their class or on their bus. Please note that due to the complexity of student schedules at the middle/high school level, parents will only receive the district notification about a positive case in the school at large.
As per the New York State Department of Health, quarantine requirements and the ability to attend school and/or participate in extracurricular activities vary depending on vaccination and booster status. Please see the State’s chart, which Greenburgh Central School District will be following.
All students, grades pre-K through 12, who are not vaccinated or have not yet completed a primary vaccine series and had close contact with a positive COVID-19 individual must quarantine for at least 5 days with Day 0 being the last day of close contact. However, in order for students to remain in school for in-person instruction, parents have two options. They can enroll their child in the 5-day Test To Stay (TTS) program and their child must test negative each day, or show proof of the child’s full vaccination status. Please be aware that students are not able to participate in extracurricular or after-school activities during the quarantine period and are still required to quarantine outside of the school day. (See additional details on TTS below.)
If your child is quarantining, it will be considered an excused absence and they will receive asynchronous instruction.
TEST TO STAY PROGRAM
Our TTS program will begin Monday, February 7, 2022. TTS is available to unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated students who are required to quarantine due to COVID exposure. Parental consent is required for participation. TTS will allow unvaccinated or partially vaccinated students to remain in school after exposure if they test negative for five consecutive school days.
Testing will be conducted at Woodlands Middle/High School. Parking will be to the right of the main entrance; signs will be posted and security personnel will be present. Please note that students may not ride the bus to school while participating in this program but may take it home each day that they test negative. Parents must accompany their child for the test and wait for a negative result before departing.
January 20, 2022
The Westchester County Department of Health has informed its public school superintendents that schools are no longer required to conduct contact tracing provided it adheres to the following specific protocols (as outlined by the DOH):
- Maintain multi-layered mitigation strategies in all PreK-12 schools (e.g., indoor mask-wearing, at least three feet of social distance in classrooms, regular cleaning, etc.). To the extent practicable, conduct our ongoing weekly surveillance testing on a regular schedule for students, faculty, and staff who have consented.
- Notify parents/guardians of affected students, faculty, and staff regarding positive cases occurring in the school population.
- Advise parents/guardians of students, faculty, and staff to self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms and stay home when symptomatic.
- Schools will provide an End of Isolation attestation form to be completed by the parent/guardian before their child returns to school after testing positive for COVID-19. This form asks parents to confirm that the symptoms of students who have tested positive are improving/resolved and that they are fever-free for at least 24 hours before returning to school. A link to the form will be forthcoming.
In addition to the County guidelines, the District is implementing the following to help our families make the best decisions for their children:
- In addition to the Superintendent’s district-wide notification of positive cases, a second notification will be sent to parents directly from the school, via SchoolMessenger, notifying them if their child was exposed to a positive case in the school building or on the bus. This procedure will commence on January 24. We are still finalizing how we can effectively and efficiently carry this communication out at WMHS given the class structure. Additional information will follow.
- Parents of exposed child(ren) can opt to quarantine their child(ren) at home for five (5) days and receive asynchronous instruction. This period will be considered an excused absence.
- Parents may choose to send their child(ren) to school provided they are asymptomatic while monitoring their symptoms. If symptoms develop, parents are expected to keep their child home and notify the school nurse.
- Parents who receive notification from their child’s principal that they were exposed in the school or on the bus, are strongly encouraged to have their child participate in the district’s Test to Stay program in order to continually check their COVID status.
TEST TO STAY
We had intended to start the Test to Stay program on January 24 upon approval from Westchester County, since there are licensing requirements that must be fulfilled before we can administer the program. Today we just received the County’s license agreement, which is currently being reviewed and requires the Board of Education’s consideration and approval.
Last Update | Dec. 28, 2021
A) Testing Protocols:
We will require testing of all symptomatic individuals, and close contacts of COVID-19 suspected or confirmed individuals. Testing may be obtained at testing facilities in our area, such as White Plains Hospital, local Westchester County Department of Health (WCDoH) facilities, or by their own physician.
We will require testing of Individuals with recent international travel or travel within a state with widespread transmission of COVID-19 as designated through the New York State Travel Advisory, before allowing such individuals to return to in-person to the school. If an individual decides not to get tested, the individual must quarantine for 14 days.
B) Testing Responsibility:
The WCDoH is responsible for referring, sourcing, and administering testing, particularly in the event that large-scale testing at the school is needed.
C) Early Warning Signs:
- All positive COVID-19 cases shall be reported to the WCDoH as increasing beyond an acceptable level, as established by our local health departments.
- sick individuals cannot return unless cleared by a physician and 24 hours fever-free without use of analgesics. Clearance MUST be a written note submitted to the school nurse.
D) The Greenburgh Central School District will comply with WCDoH in contact tracing and reporting.