December 30, 2021
We hope you are enjoying a restful holiday break with your family. As we look ahead to the New Year, the health and safety of our students and staff remains our highest priority. On Tuesday afternoon, Governor Hochul held a webinar with superintendents to discuss her desire to keep schools open across the state. She pledged millions of test kits to provide to school districts. Our schools will be open, as scheduled, on Monday, January 3 for all students. We will be putting additional health and safety measures in place, in particular more testing options, to mitigate the spread of COVID and keep our schools open for learning.
At-Home Test Kits
The state of New York is delivering test kits to each school district. We anticipate arrival early next week. Once we are in possession of the kits we will offer 2 testing kits per student to every family who wants them.
Opt out of receiving these kits
Request to have them sent home via backpack
Pick-up at a distribution site on our campus. We will notify families of our distribution schedule on Monday.
Taking part in testing is voluntary. We strongly encourage you to utilize one of these home test kits for your children next week when they are available. If you or others in your household need to be tested, please visit https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/find-test-site-near-you to find a nearby testing site.
Anyone who tests positive on a take-home test should immediately report their results to the school and begin isolating. Families must report any positive at-home test result through their school and the county’s website at www.greenegovernment.com/report-positive-covid-test.
Students who test positive must isolate for 10 days and can return to school on day 11 if there is symptom resolution. At this time, individuals cannot test out of quarantine or isolation.
Symptomatic Individuals Testing
The New York State Department of Health (NYDOH) recently amended its school guidance related to COVID testing and quarantine. Per its memo, the NYSDOH is now allowing individuals who develop COVID-19 symptoms and have no known exposure to someone with COVID-19 to participate in school activities following a negative nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT) such as a rapid molecular or PCR test, or a rapid antigen test, regardless of vaccination status. This means that either a lab-certified negative rapid antigen test or a rapid molecular or PCR test will be accepted for an individual to remain in school or return to school if there is no known exposure to a positive case. Local health departments are not accepting home tests as proof of a negative test.
In addition to a negative NAAT or antigen test, symptomatic individuals must:
be well enough to participate in school
not have rhinorrhea (runny nose) or cough severe enough to make mask wearing difficult or unhygienic
be fever-free for 24 hours without use of fever-reducing medication and
comply with the district school illness policy to return to school after a non-COVID illness.
To assist families with accessing testing Coxsackie-Athens Schools will host our own testing clinics for C-A students who have symptoms and no known exposure. There will be no charge for C-A students.
Wednesdays: 8:30am-10:30am on the Coxsackie campus
Wednesdays: 11:30am-12:30pm on the Athens campus
Fridays: 8:30am-11:00am on the Coxsackie campus
Exact locations on each campus will be announced next week.
Testing is also available throughout the region and state, including at pharmacies and health care facilities.
Please visit https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/find-test-site-near-you to find a test site near you. If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, please call the testing site before you go to testing.
Test to Stay Update
Last week, the state updated guidance on Test to Stay to reduce the number of students and staff who would be excluded from school following a COVID exposure. At this time, our local health department is reviewing and assessing the equity and feasibility of this Test to Stay strategy throughout our county.
The New York State Department of Health has not yet adopted the CDC updates on shortening quarantine and isolation for the general population. The state has only adopted this reduction for essential workers including school personnel. As a result, the quarantine period remains at 10 days for students. If there are any changes, we will communicate them as soon as possible.
A notice from the Greene County Director of Public Health Kimberly Kaplan:
Greene County Public Health (GCPH) works closely with the Greene County School Districts to protect the health of your community. When you receive a call from your school regarding the quarantine of your child, that directive is effective immediately. Do not wait to be contacted by GCPH, which may be delayed due to the unprecedented spread of the COVID-19 Virus.
Masks are required to be worn inside school buildings. Masks are required to have at least two layers.
We are seeing the impact of the omicron variant throughout the region and state. We ask for your continued cooperation in following our established COVID protocols, including mask wearing, physical distancing, and staying home when sick. We will continue to keep you updated with any changes to conditions or protocols. Thank you for your continued partnership and patience.
Superintendent of Schools