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Coronavirus Updates

This webpage is being updated regularly as new information becomes available. Last updated January 28, 2022.

The East Greenbush Central School District continues to monitor the situation regarding the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). District administrators meet regularly with each other, with the Rensselaer County Health Department and other local school districts. We continue to follow recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and guidance from the NYS Department of Health and the NYS Education Department.

Forms Required for Completion of Isolation and Quarantine

As part of the state’s updated guidance regarding requirements for both isolation and quarantine, affirmation forms for parents of students and for employees must be submitted to the school once isolation or quarantine periods have been completed.

New Cases

Friday, January 28, 2022

  • Columbia High School – 4 cases, 1 contact quarantined, 3 additional contacts who do not need to quarantine because they are fully vaccinated.
  • Howard L. Goff Middle School – 2 cases, 1 contact quarantined, 3 additional contacts who do not need to quarantine because they are fully vaccinated or recently recovered from COVID.
  • Bell Top Elementary School – 1 case, 0 contacts quarantined, 1 additional contact who does not need to quarantine because they are fully vaccinated.

Thursday, January 27, 2022

  • Columbia High School – 6 cases, 4 contacts quarantined.
  • Howard L. Goff Middle School – 2 cases, 0 contacts.
  • Donald P. Sutherland Elementary School – 2 cases, 0 contacts.
  • Genet Elementary School – 1 case, 0 contacts.
  • Red Mill Elementary School – 3 cases, 0 contacts quarantined, 2 additional contacts who do not need to quarantine because they are fully vaccinated or recently recovered from COVID.

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

  • Columbia High School – 2 cases, 0 contacts quarantined, 1 additional contact who does not need to quarantine because they are fully vaccinated.
  • Howard L. Goff Middle School – 2 cases, 3 contacts quarantined.
  • Bell Top Elementary School – 4 cases, 1 contact quarantined.
  • Donald P. Sutherland Elementary School – 1 case, 0 contacts.
  • Genet Elementary School – 3 cases, 0 contacts.
  • Green Meadow Elementary School – 3 cases, 2 contacts quarantined.
  • Red Mill Elementary School – 1 case, 0 contacts quarantined, 1 additional contact who does not need to quarantine because they are fully vaccinated.

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

  • Columbia High School – 10 cases, 1 contact quarantined, 5 additional contacts who do not need to quarantine because they are fully vaccinated.
  • Howard L. Goff Middle School – 5 cases, 0 contacts quarantined, 3 additional contacts who do not need to quarantine because they are fully vaccinated.
  • Bell Top Elementary School – 1 case, 0 contacts.
  • Donald P. Sutherland Elementary School – 2 cases, 0 contacts.
  • Genet Elementary School – 4 cases, 0 contacts.
  • Green Meadow Elementary School – 2 cases, 2 contacts quarantined.
  • Red Mill Elementary School – 10 cases, 0 contacts quarantined, 1 additional contact who does not need to quarantine because they are fully vaccinated.

Monday, January 24, 2022

  • Columbia High School – 13 cases, 4 contacts quarantined, 10 additional contacts who do not need to quarantine because they are fully vaccinated or recently recovered from COVID.
  • Howard L. Goff Middle School – 9 cases, 1 contact quarantined, 9 additional contacts who do not need to quarantine because they are fully vaccinated or recently recovered from COVID..
  • Bell Top Elementary School – 2 cases, 0 contacts.
  • Genet Elementary School – 1 case, 0 contacts.
  • Green Meadow Elementary School – 5 cases, 0 contacts.
  • Red Mill Elementary School – 2 cases, 0 contacts.

View NYS COVID-19 Report Card

Health and Safety Procedures

The current level of community transmission of COVID-19 in Rensselaer County is “High.” Please see below for our current Health and Safety Procedures. You can also view our School Opening Plan.

Face Masks

  • Face masks (cloth mask or surgical mask that cover both the mouth and nose) is required for all students, staff and visitors inside schools and on school buses regardless of vaccination status.
  • Bandanas and neck gaiters are not permitted.
  • Masks are optional when outdoors on school property. 

Social Distancing

  • Minimum of 3 feet of physical distance between students within classrooms.
  • General Music, Chorus and Orchestra must maintain 3 feet social distancing. 
  • When indoors, Physical Education should have 6 feet social distancing.

Ventilation

  • Improved ventilation inside schools by utilizing a purge cycle program, running exhaust fans 24/7, repairing and replacing exhaust fans, upgrading air filters and utilizing air purifiers in offices and rooms where needed.

Cleaning and Disinfecting

  • Continued regular cleaning and disinfecting of school buildings, buses and high-touch areas.

Temperature Checks

  • All students and employees will have their temperatures taken upon entry to school buildings. 
  • Any individual with a temperature of 100 degrees or higher must be sent to the isolation room in the school health office. 

COVID-19 Testing Program

As part of a continued effort to prioritize the health and safety of students and staff while maintaining in-person learning, the East Greenbush Central School District is implementing Surveillance testing and Point of Care testing in its schools.

  • Surveillance Testing
    • Surveillance testing is being conducted weekly for unvaccinated school district employees and unvaccinated students participating in low- and intermediate-risk winter sports. 
    • Due to a limited supply of tests, general Surveillance testing for students has yet to commence. Parents will be notified before the general Surveillance testing program for students begins. As is the case with Point of Care testing, students must have parent consent for Surveillance testing.
  • Point of Care Testing
    • Point of Care testing for COVID-19 began in all schools starting Monday, December 13. If a student develops COVID-19 symptoms during the school day, they can visit the Health Office and be tested for COVID-19.
    • Only students who have parent consent may be tested for COVID-19 at school.
    • The school district’s Point of Care testing program is only for those students who develop symptoms while they are at school and it will not be used as a regular testing site at this time. The school Health Offices have a limited supply of tests and nurses are tending to their regular responsibilities related to student care.

COVID-19 Prevention

  • Every morning before school, please check your child for COVID-19 symptoms.
  • If your child displays a COVID-19 symptom, please keep them at home and call your school immediately.
  • In the event someone in your household tests positive for COVID-19:
    • Contact your school and inform them of the positive case
    • School district will begin contact tracing in consultation with the county department of health
    • In some instances you may be advised to keep both the child who is positive and siblings home from school
    • Provide the school with a certified lab result of the positive case (home tests will not be accepted)
    • School district will call parents of “close contacts” identified through contact tracing
    • A district-wide notification will be sent by the school district informing the community of a positive case at a particular school
    • Confidentiality must be maintained as required by federal and state laws and regulations

What is a Close Contact?

A “close contact” is defined as someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person (laboratory-confirmed or a clinically compatible illness) 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). 

  • Exceptions: 
    • In the K–12 indoor classroom setting, the close contact definition excludes students who were within 3 to 6 feet of an infected student (laboratory-confirmed or a clinically compatible illness) if both the infected student and the exposed student(s) correctly and consistently wore well-fitting masks the entire time. This exception does not apply to teachers, staff, or other adults in the indoor classroom setting.
    • On the school bus, only unvaccinated students sitting in the same seat as a student who tests positive for COVID-19 will be quarantined as a precaution. All other students on the bus will not be considered close contacts and can continue attending school.

Contact Tracing Procedures

The East Greenbush CSD conducts contact tracing for positive cases of COVID-19. Only parents and guardians of unvaccinated individuals who are considered close contacts will be called by the school district and advised to have their child quarantined. Individuals who are fully vaccinated or those who have recovered from COVID-19 in the last 90 days will not receive a call and can continue attending school.

Contact tracing involves review of:

  • Attendance records
  • Vaccination status
  • Student schedules
  • Seating charts
  • Visitor logs

5-Day Isolation and Quarantine Policy

The New York State Department of Health has adopted a new CDC recommendation on shortening quarantine and isolation to 5 days for the general population including students and school staff. Based on interim guidance received by the school district, this new policy will take effect in the East Greenbush Central School District starting Friday, January 7, 2022.

Moving forward, this means any new cases of COVID-19 will follow the updated guidance below. Please note that any cases identified prior to today will follow the previous guidance.

According to the CDC, this “change is motivated by science demonstrating that the majority of SARS-CoV-2 transmission occurs early in the course of illness, generally in the 1-2 days prior to onset of symptoms and the 2-3 days after.”

Isolation

A person must isolate when they are sick or when they have been infected with the virus, even if they don’t have symptoms.

If your child develops symptoms of COVID-19, please follow these steps:

  • Keep your child home and test them for COVID-19 (at-home tests are now accepted).
    • If test result is positive:
      • Contact your school nurse and inform them of the test result.
      • Isolate at home for 5 days. Day 0 would be the date symptoms started. 
      • Return to school on Day 6 if symptoms have resolved or are improving (fever free for 24 hours without use of fever-reducing medication and no cough or runny nose).
      • Individuals who are moderately to severely immunocompromised should isolate for 10 days.
      • Notify any individuals who have had close contact with your child recently.
    • If test result is negative:
      • Contact your school nurse and inform them of the test result.
      • Return to school when symptoms have improved.
      • Stay at home if fever, cough or runny nose persist.
  • Submit the Affirmation of Isolation Form to your school the day they return. (This is a fillable form so you can type in it, save it, and then email it to the school. Or you can print the form and have your child bring it to school.)

Quarantine

A person must quarantine when they might have been exposed to the virus and may or may not have been infected.

  • If the individual is not fully vaccinated:
    • Quarantine at home for 5 days. Day 0 would be the date of last exposure.
    • Return to school on Day 6. Mask while around others and monitor for symptoms for an additional 5 days.
    • Test on day 5, if possible (you can use an at-home test).
    • If the individual develops any symptoms or tests positive, they must isolate at home for 5 days. Contact your school nurse with this new information.
    • Submit the Affirmation of Quarantine Form to your school the day they return. (This is a fillable form so you can type in it, save it, and then email it to the school. Or you can print the form and have your child bring it to school.)
  • If the individual is fully vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19 in the past 90 days:
    • No quarantine required.
    • Mask while around others and monitor for symptoms for 10 days from date of exposure.
    • Test on day 5, if possible.
    • If the individual develops any symptoms or tests positive during quarantine, they must isolate.

The school district will call parents of unvaccinated students who are identified as contacts, and if necessary, make arrangements for alternative instruction during the period of quarantine.

Alternative to Quarantine

As an alternative to quarantine, those individuals identified as close contacts in the school setting who are not demonstrating any symptoms of COVID-19 may be allowed to continue to report to school or work if they follow a “home testing protocol” as follows:

  • Complete two at-home COVID tests over the course of 5 days and report each of the results to the school nurse or employee’s supervisor
    • Test on Day 2 after the exposure or the first day of school/work if the exposure is on a weekend
    • Test on Day 5
  • Each test must be completed before reporting to school or work on these dates
  • Each test result must be negative in order for the student to attend school or the employee to report to work. Parents are encouraged to inform the school nurse of the results.
  • In all cases, individuals who test positive should not attend school or report to work and they should inform the school of their positive test result
  • According to the NYS Department of Health, individuals participating in the home testing program will be required to follow quarantine protocols outside of attending school/work

At-home tests will be made available for free to all families and employees who are participating in the Home Testing Protocol. Please contact the school’s main office to obtain an at-home test. 

Isolation and Quarantine Guidance Flowchart

COVID-19 Testing Sites

COVID-19 testing sites can be found at the following link: https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/find-test-site-near-you.

COVID-19 Vaccine

All eligible students and employees are encouraged to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The Pfizer vaccine is available to individuals ages 5+ and the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are available to individuals ages 18+.

Additionally, booster shots are now recommended the following individuals:

  • New Yorkers 12 years and older who received their Pfizer-BioNTech initial vaccine series at least five months ago are eligible for the Pfizer-BioNTech booster.
  • Children ages 5-11 with certain immunocompromising conditions who received their Pfizer-BioNTech initial vaccine series at least 28 days ago are eligible for an additional dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
  • New Yorkers 18 years and older who received the Moderna initial vaccine series at least five months ago or the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine at least two months ago are eligible for a booster dose.

Please talk with your doctor to learn more about COVID-19 vaccines or visit the NYS Department of Health or American Academy of Pediatrics websites.

Vaccine Finder

Resources

Contact Information

Food for Families

During this challenging time, the East Greenbush Central School District is providing food to families in need from our school community. This service is open to anyone. If you are in need of food, please contact Audra Di Bacco at DiBaccau@egcsd.org to make arrangements for pickup or delivery.

Food for Families flyer

COVID-19 Updates

Rensselaer County COVID-19 Contacts