The East Greenbush Central School District continues to monitor the situation regarding the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). There are currently 173 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in New York. While there are no confirmed cases in Rensselaer County, we in the East Greenbush Central School District are aware of concerns in the community about the spread of this relatively new virus.
District administrators continue to meet regularly and are following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the New York State Department of Health and the NYS Department of Education.
We have created a new Coronavirus Information webpage and will be updating it regularly as this situation evolves.
Out of an abundance of caution, and upon review of guidance from the NYS Departments of Education and Health, we are taking proactive measures to help reduce the spread of any potential COVID-19 or other viruses in the community.
To reduce the instances of community contact at our schools, and to protect students and staff, all field trips and some large community events through the end of March have been canceled and will be rescheduled if possible as we assess any changes that occur regarding Coronavirus or any additional guidance from state officials. All sporting events will continue as scheduled unless further guidance is provided to schools from Section 2 or the NYSPHSAA directs otherwise. Some changes are in effect (e.g., no handshaking, no sharing of water bottles, etc.).
Canceling these larger community events will also allow our custodial staff to focus more on the necessary cleaning and disinfecting of our buildings, particularly in the evenings. As we receive more guidance from the NYS Education and Health Departments, there is potential for additional changes.
The following events have been postponed. Some may be rescheduled as we continue to assess the situation:
- All school field trips and assemblies through March 31
- Active Parenting of Teens Workshops – Goff
- 6th Grade Orientation (for parents of 5th graders) – March 10, Goff
- Parent Workshop: Self-Care for Parents – March 10, Columbia
- Red Mill Grandparents and Special Friends Day – March 12, Red Mill
- Grades 9-12 Evening Parent Conferences – March 12, Columbia (if you would like to schedule a private appointment, please contact your school)
- Community-Staff Basketball Game – March 13, Goff
- Goff Musical – March 13 and 14
- NYS Science Olympiad Championships – March 13-14 (High Schools) and April 17-18 (Middle Schools), Syracuse, NY
- Regional Graduation Measures Forum – March 18, Times Union Building
- Genet STEM Fair – March 18, Genet
- Dessert Night – March 18, Goff
- Parent Workshop: Social Media Safety – March 18, Genet
- Grades 6-8 Evening Parent Conferences – March 19 (if you would like to schedule a private appointment, please contact your school)
- Spring Meet the Coaches Night – March 23, Columbia
- CHS Pops Concerts – March 24 and 26
- College Caravan – March 26, Columbia
- Goff Activity Night – March 27, Goff
- Parent Workshop: Addressing Defiance at Home – March 31, Genet
- GAPP Summer Trip to Germany – Summer 2020
About Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a respiratory disease that can lead to fever, cough and trouble breathing or shortness of breath. While most confirmed cases (approximately 80%) lead to mild symptoms, there can be more severe cases, and even death, especially among older adults and those who have serious chronic medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes and lung disease.
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in people and many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats.
The 2019 novel coronavirus may cause mild to severe respiratory symptoms such as:
- Trouble Breathing
CDC believes at this time that symptoms may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 days after exposure to the virus. If you are experiencing these symptoms, please call your health care provider or the Coronavirus Hotline at 1-888-364-3065.
There are currently no vaccines available to protect against this virus. Like with all viruses and illnesses, there’s a tremendous reliance on individual precautions. The NYS Department of Health recommends the following ways to minimize the spread of all respiratory viruses, including COVID-2019:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing. If you use a tissue, throw it in the trash.
- Routinely clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
All students are being instructed in the areas of respiratory cough etiquette and hand washing. Students are encouraged to wash hands as frequently as possible, especially before and after eating, after recess and use of the bathroom.
Informational signs are being ordered and will be placed in each building to remind/encourage our students about good personal hygiene.
When reporting an absence with your school, please leave details (e.g., fever, cough, strep throat, etc.) on the attendance line. We are actively monitoring our attendance levels throughout the district.
If you are unsure whether to send your child to school or not, please visit our When to Keep a Child Home with Illness webpage.
In accordance with CDC, the Department of Health and State Education Guidelines:
- All school buildings are cleaned, sanitized and disinfected regularly, including desks, door handles, bathrooms, handrails and locks on lockers. Cleaning practices have been enhanced with recommended products for killing the Coronavirus and with the recommended frequency.
- School buses also receive daily cleaning and disinfecting including seats and handrails.
- Hand sanitizing stations (60% alcohol) have been ordered and, pending delivery, will be available at specific locations in each school.
- Soap and water continues to be the best means for washing hands, however, students are permitted to bring their own hand sanitizer from home.
Potential School Closure
Governor Cuomo announced on March 9 that if there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 in a school, the state health department requires an initial 24-hour closure, in order to begin an investigation to determine the contacts that the individual may have had within the school environment. All school staff and parents of students would be notified immediately and the school would be cleaned and disinfected. Due to confidentiality requirements, specific information on individuals will not be released.
Our administrative team is meeting to discuss possible plans in the event that schools were to be closed or if there were a high level of student absences. Any decision would be informed by guidance from the NYS Education Department.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Homeland Security are applying travel restrictions and quarantines, as appropriate, for people traveling internationally. Students and staff returning from currently impacted countries or regions of impacted countries will be required to be under precautionary quarantine for 14 days upon return.
The local county health departments are charged with enforcing any restrictions placed on returning travelers or persons under investigation. The school does not and cannot impose restrictions on residents beyond those enforced by the government.
The CDC has provided guidelines for travelers, and we ask anyone traveling or returning to the country to follow all relevant recommendations/directives. More Information.
If you or a family member begin showing symptoms of a respiratory disease and suspect it may be COVID-19, contact your healthcare provider. Before going to your healthcare provider’s office, inform them that a case of COVID-19 is suspected, and follow their advice.
Local health departments will contact schools if a suspected or known COVID-19 case emerges. The district is prepared to work with any affected families.
In addition, New York has established a Novel Coronavirus Hotline, which can provide additional information. Call 1-888-364-3065 with questions or concerns about travel and symptoms. The district will continue to share information as it becomes available.
Please know that, as always, the health and safety of our students and staff is our highest priority.
- Novel Coronavirus (NYS Department of Health)
- Coronavirus Disease 2019 (CDC)
- Information for Travel (CDC)
- FAQ for Travelers (CDC)
- Prevention & Treatment of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (CDC)
- FAQ: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (CDC)
- Talking to Children About COVID-19 (Coronavirus) (National Association of School Psychologists)