Please see the following message from Superintendent Chevrier. With the first two positive COVID-19 cases of the year last week, this message is a reminder of the updated contact tracing procedures and quarantine policy in Schodack Central Schools.

All 2021-2022 school COVID-19 updates can be found on the district’s 2021-2022 Reopening & COVID-19 Updates page here.

Dear Schodack Community, 

Last week we had our first positive COVID-19 cases (more on these here & here) of the school year at Castleton Elementary School and Maple Hill. As with last year, district and building staff acted quickly to carry out accurate and timely contact tracing in conjunction with the Rensselaer County Department of Health’s (RCDOH). We know that inevitably there will be more cases and when this happens we will continue these procedures to ensure everyone in our schools are safe.

Like with any positive case, student and staff quarantines were necessary. These first cases of the year present an opportunity to remind everyone of the updated contact tracing procedures and quarantine policy currently in effect for schools.

Contact Tracing Procedures

Once we have a positive case, the starting point for contact tracing is 48 hours prior to the positive individual becoming symptomatic. Anyone in school or on district transportation classified as a “close contact” with the positive individual during that time may need to quarantine. 

What is a Close Contact?

We work with the RCDOH to determine close contacts based on a review of mask-wearing, ventilation and physical distancing on our buses and in the school buildings.

Of note about the close contacts from the CES case is that a majority of them were the result of exposure on the school bus, not from the classroom. Please see these RCDOH approved charts on our website to better understand how close contacts are identified through contact tracing this year. If you look at the diagrams on pages 6-8 of those charts you will see why so many students may be labeled close contacts from riding the bus. These charts will give you a general idea of how close contacts are identified but ultimately, decisions will be made based on the RCDOH’s review of all unique circumstances of each contact tracing investigation.    

The definition of “close contact” is anyone who was within 6 feet of a positive case for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period (for example, three individual 5-minute exposures for a total of 15 minutes).

However, there is an exception to that this year in K-12 indoor classroom settings which highlights the importance of everyone properly wearing their facemasks in school. This exception is that any students who were within 3 to 6 feet of a positive student will not be considered a close contact if both the positive student and the exposed student(s) were correctly and consistently wearing well-fitting masks the entire time. This exception does not apply to teachers, staff or other adults in the indoor classroom setting.

Quarantine Policy

Please note, any individuals in our schools who are fully vaccinated will be much less likely to be quarantined than someone who is not vaccinated. If you are interested in having your eligible student vaccinated you can use this COVID-19 Vaccine Finder to find a location. 

The quarantine policy we follow in accordance with the department of health for close contacts is as follows:

  • If an individual is identified as a close contact through contact tracing and:
    • They are fully vaccinated and asymptomatic (not showing symptoms):
      • They may continue attending school/work but must wear a face mask in all public spaces for 14 days, and be tested for COVID-19 between 3-5 days from the exposure date.
    • They are fully vaccinated but show symptoms:
      • They must quarantine at home for 14 days. They may not report to school or work with any symptoms. Please consult with a primary care provider or the department of health as they may require testing.
    • They are not fully vaccinated but asymptomatic (not showing symptoms):
      • They must quarantine at home for 10 days. If they develop symptoms during that 10-day period, they must quarantine at home for a full 14 days and inform the department of health of symptoms.

Jason M. Chevrier
Schodack Central School District