Whitney Young Health to make COVID-19 testing available for students

Beginning Monday, Nov. 16, Whitney Young Health will offer COVID-19 testing to symptomatic students. Testing will take place on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and will be administered with parental permission in the parking area outside the former main entrance to Watervliet Jr.-Sr. High School. (Note: Students and staff should not use this entrance except during arrival and dismissal times.)

Parental permission will be required, and students must be enrolled in the WYH School-Based Health Center to participate in testing. Download the enrollment form

This will be more convenient and help simplify the process for students to get a COVID-19 test if they begin to experience symptoms during the school day and are sent to the nurses’ office or the school-based health center for evaluation before being sent home.

It will also help us to better meet frequently changing guidance, rules and mandates issued by state and local health departments and allow us to keep our schools open. Right now, if a student is sent home from school or is absent from school with symptoms that could be consistent with a COVID-19 diagnosis and is not tested within 48 hours of the onset of those symptoms, they may not return to school for at least 10 days while they quarantine.

In addition, without conclusive test results, New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) mandates that school districts proceed as if cases are positive. That means we would be required to quarantine an entire classroom (or classrooms) as a precaution and move to remote learning, which can be disruptive to all learners, especially students attending in-person classes, and their families. We believe testing is important to protect the health and safety of all students and staff and would encourage families to have their children tested through the Whitney Young School-Based Health Center or by your family’s healthcare provider. More information about the Whitney Young School-Based Health Center

Health & Safety Practices In School and Out of School

As positive cases of COVID-19 trend upward across the state and the country, it is imperative that we all do our part to mitigate the spread of the illness. Please be sure to practice the following health and safety measures both in school and in public:

  • Maintain social distance (6 feet or more away from each other);
  • Wear face coverings (masks);
  • Wash hands or use hand sanitizer frequently;
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands;
  • Practice good respiratory etiquette (cover coughs and sneezes);
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick;
  • Stay home if you are sick; and
  • Avoid large gatherings (sleepovers, parties, etc.).

Return to School COVID-19 Protocols – Updated

The New York State Department of Health and Albany County Department of Health recently released updated guidance regarding students and staff members returning to school after exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms. A student or staff member must now have a negative laboratory-based PCR test to return to school. The district can no longer accept a negative result from a rapid or point of care COVID test. In the event you need a COVID-19 test, it is important to be aware of this. Read the updated return-to-school protocols