We have learned of 12 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our school community since our last update.
- 7 positive cases reported at Watervliet Jr-Sr. High School
- 5 positive cases reported at Watervliet Elementary School
As you know, guidance about COVID-19 is constantly evolving. As a district, our goal is to streamline the information we receive so that our families and staff are aware of available resources and best practices to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in our school community. The information we share with you comes from the Albany County Health Department, New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC). Please understand this guidance is subject to change.
Testing to Permit Return to School with COVID-Like Symptoms
Testing to return to school after COVID-like symptoms is allowable only for those individuals who are:
- Fully vaccinated with COVID symptoms, with or without a known exposure; or
- Not fully vaccinated with COVID symptoms without a known exposure.
Individuals who develop COVID-like symptoms and have no known exposure to someone with COVID-19 can return to school activities with:
- One lab negative NAAT, lab antigen test, OR
- Two negative over-the-counter (OTC) or at-home antigen tests. These tests must be taken 36 hours apart.
- Note from health care provider indicating symptoms are not COVID related.
In addition to testing, 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 medications; and
- Meet other school or district requirements to return to school after a non-COVID illness.
Please note: There is no exemption to the testing requirement for symptomatic vaccinated individuals.
Quarantine period reduced to 5 days
Quarantine is a strategy used to prevent transmission of COVID-19, by keeping people who have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19 apart from others.
Students, teachers, and staff who came into close contact with someone with COVID-19 and are in one of the following groups do NOT need to quarantine:
- People who are fully vaccinated.
- People who had confirmed COVID-19 within the last 90 days (tested positive).
Visit the CDC website for an overview of the most recent CDC recommendations for COVID quarantine for students and staff.
Changes in Isolation period to 5 days
Isolation is separating people who have COVID-19 or symptoms of COVID-19 from those who are not infected or showing symptoms in order to prevent transmission of the virus.
- Students, teachers, and staff who test positive for COVID-19 and never develop symptoms should isolate for at least 5 days.
- Students, teachers, and staff who have COVID-19 and have or had symptoms should isolate for at least 5 days.
An overview of the most recent CDC recommendations for COVID isolation for students and staff is available on the CDC website.
If you have any questions about this information, please reach out to Superintendent Dr. Donald Stevens, by email at email@example.com or call 518-629-3201.
We thank you for your continued patience and partnership as we navigate these challenges together.
(This message was shared with WCSD families and staff via One Call Now email on Jan. 10.)