The New York State Department of Health has updated its guidance related to student and staff attendance for those who are symptomatic or test positive for COVID-19.
There also have been changes to the way school districts in New York state report confirmed and possible cases of COVID-19 to the state’s online dashboard.
Return to school protocols
As you know, everyone who enters our school buildings is being asked to screen for possible COVID-19 symptoms. Those who are ill are asked to stay home. We wanted to clarify what needs to happen before students and staff can return to school after falling ill or showing COVID-19 symptoms.
If a student or employee has shown symptoms of the coronavirus, one of the following must take place before that person can return to school:
- Your health-care provider gives you a conclusive diagnosis of something other than COVID-19;
- You test negative for COVID-19; or
- You are released from isolation by the Department of Health.
Students and employees will be asked to provide documentation from a health care provider of an alternative diagnosis, or a negative COVID test result.
Anyone who is symptomatic for 48 hours and does not receive an alternative diagnosis or a negative COVID test result will be isolated by the Department of Health.
We are aware that these protocols may present challenges for some families, but please know that these protocols are not simply school or district policy. Only the Health Department has the authority to release individuals from isolation, which would then allow them to return to the school.
The following Department of Health flowcharts can assist families in navigating the protocols:
- Can my child go to school today?
- Can I go to work at the school today?
- When can my child return to school after having COVID-19 symptoms?
- When can a district staff member return to work in the school after having COVID-19 symptoms?