Jan. 14 Update: New COVID cases reported, more changes to guidance expected

As we prepare for the weekend, we want to thank our families, teachers and staff for your patience as the state and local guidance related to COVID-19 protocols continues to change. Earlier this week, we shared information on new isolation and quarantine protocols. We anticipate that new guidance on contract tracing will be released next week. We are doing our best to keep you updated as we receive information on what the emerging health guidance means for in-person teaching and learning.

New COVID-19 cases

Over the past four days, we learned of a total of 41 positive cases of COVID-19 in our school community, which resulted in a number of quarantines. Since our last update on Monday, 18 cases were reported at Watervliet Elementary School with 23 cases at Watervliet Jr.-Sr. High School.

Please remember that symptomatic students and staff members should NOT come to school. Similarly, it is important for families to keep child(ren) home from school if they are exhibiting COVID symptoms: Fever or chills; cough; shortness of breath or difficulty breathing; fatigue; muscle or body aches; headaches; new loss of taste or smell; sore throat; congestion or runny nose; nausea or vomiting; or diarrhea.

Students and staff are required to properly wear face covering when in our buildings, regardless of vaccination status.

Vaccinations available

In addition to wearing masks and social distancing, vaccination continues to be one of the most effective mitigation measures we have to keep our schools open safely for in-person learning. We encourage eligible students and staff members to get fully vaccinated (and a booster, if eligible) to protect themselves, their families and their communities. COVID-19 vaccination appointments are available for students who are 5 years and older through our Whitney Young School-Based Health Clinic at WJSHS. Call 518-629-3270 to make an appointment.

At-home test kits

Last week, we distributed at-home COVID-19 test kits to district families. Please remember that any positive test results from the at-home tests must be reported to the local health department and to your child’s school nurse (at the phone numbers listed below). To report a positive test result to Albany County, visit https://forms.albanycounty.com/Forms/dcu8G and follow the directions provided.

  • Watervliet Elementary School nurse: Sue Vogel, 518-629-3402
  • Watervliet Jr.-Sr. High School nurse: Rachael Thomas, 518-629-3304

We thank you for your cooperation and support of our schools, and remind families and staff that school will be closed Monday, Jan. 17 in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Please keep warm and stay safe over the weekend as temperatures and wind chills dip below zero.

(This message was shared with WCSD families and staff via One Call Now email on Jan. 14.)