Jan. 19 Update: New COVID-19 cases reported, updated COVID-19 protocols

We learned of 17 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our school community over the weekend.

  • 10 positive cases reported at Watervliet Elementary School
  • 7 positive cases reported at Watervliet Jr-Sr. High School

Latest COVID-19 protocols for schools

Effective immediately, our district will adhere to the most recent updates from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the New York State Department of Health and the Albany County Department of Health when allowing students to return to school if they have symptoms of COVID-19, test positive for COVID-19 or are considered exposed to an individual with COVID-19. 

One of the biggest changes you can expect is that the New York State Department of Health will no longer conduct contact tracing. This means that individuals potentially exposed to COVID-19 will no longer be contacted by their local department of health. Going forward, we will no longer be collecting information about contacts to report to county health departments. We will only conduct contact tracing in limited and specific circumstances, such as, but not limited to, direct exposure related to certain high-risk sports or where there are reduced mitigation strategies. We will continue to report positive COVID-19 cases to our community on Mondays and Fridays. Read about the new protocols

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.

Your cooperation and support of our schools is appreciated as we continue to work together to make this a safe, healthy and successful school year for our students, staff and families. Thank you.

(This message was shared with WCSD families and staff via One Call Now email on Wednesday, Jan. 19.)