As we know, the aftermath of the pandemic is still with us. While we want to see as much normalcy as possible, we must also prepare for peaks and valleys in the rate of transmission of the virus this year. Rather than mandate a statewide approach, the NYS Department of Health has indicated that school districts should decide upon an approach at the local level, guided by recommendations from medical experts.
Using guidance from the CDC, the NYS Department of Education, our county health officials, and our school physician, the Board of Education and District Administration has developed a plan for navigating the upcoming school year. Our first step will be to determine the level of transmission of COVID-19 for our community.
At the county level, the level of transmission is based on two factors:
- The number of new cases in the county over the previous 7 days.
- The percentage of accurate COVID tests (Nucleic Acid Amplification Tests or NAATs ) that come back positive in the county over the past 7 days.
The determination of a specific level follows the guidelines we laid out for you here.
Schoharie County COVID-19 Data Tracking
This is how you can track community transmission rates.
Quarantine Instructional Plan
Students who are placed on a Department of Health quarantine from school will be provided with streaming, paper, and digital academic resources to continue their learning experience. Each quarantine will be evaluated on a case by case basis to determine the appropriate services for each student.
COVID-19 Testing On Campus
Bassett’s School-Based healthcare practitioners have the ability to do COVID testing for any symptomatic student as long as you are enrolled in the school-based health program.
Our Bassett school based health center will be open when school is in session virtually or in-person. Telehealth visit options are also available. Please call 518-827-3793 Monday – Friday, 8:00-4:00 to schedule an appointment.
Test to RETURN to school for student/staff members with COVID-19 symptoms
Regardless of vaccination status, if a student/staff member has COVID-19 symptoms they must be tested in order to return to school.
- One lab negative NAAT, lab antigen test, OR
- Two negative over-the-counter (OTC) antigen tests taken at home 36 hours apart.
If the testing method you use is the OTC antigen tests, parents/guardians/staff members must also sign the following attestation proving the negative results.
- Fill out this attestation form confirming two negative test results taken 36 hours apart.
In addition to negative test results, students/staff 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 medications
The following requirements remain in effect:
- There is no exemption to the testing requirement for symptomatic students.
- Students with symptoms that are attributable to pre-existing medical conditions (e.g. migraines, allergies) and are not new or worsening do not require school exclusion or testing.
- If a healthcare provider makes a diagnosis of a confirmed non-COVID-19 acute illness (e.g. laboratory-confirmed influenza or strep throat) AND COVID-19 is not suspected, then a note signed by the healthcare provider explaining the alternate diagnosis may be provided to allow a student, teacher, or staff member to participate in school without COVID-19 testing.
What To Know About Using At-Home COVID-19 Tests
The state provided MCS with enough at-home testing kits to give one to each student. There are two tests in each kit. They can be picked up by calling and stopping by the main office. In order to make the best safety decisions for our school community, the district wants to be clear about the procedure regarding the use of the rapid COVID-19 test from home.
If the results are positive you must:
- Immediately isolate
- Report the result to the Schoharie County Department of Health by calling 518-295-8390
- Report the result to your school nurse at 518-827-3600: Brittany Pickett for the ES (ext. 1686) and Jennifer Adams for the HS (ext. 2609)
If the results are negative, but you have symptoms or contact with COVID-19
- Negative results on an at-home COVID-19 test do not need to be reported.
- However, if a student or staff member has symptoms, or has been exposed to a person with COVID-19, they must stay home until they have a negative test result by a healthcare provider or from a COVID testing site.
- The at-home tests cannot be used for reentry to school following an absence due to illness.
If the results are negative and there are no symptoms
- Students and staff can come to school.
At School Lab PCR Test Program
Remember, the district also offers a diagnostic COVID-19 Test through the Quadrant Testing Program. If you have not utilized the program, you can register using this link.