COVID-19 Updates and Information

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Coronavirus Updates

This webpage is being updated regularly as new information becomes available. Last updated January 20, 2021.

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

East Greenbush CSD Prepares for COVID-19 Testing at Schools

The East Greenbush Central School District has developed a COVID-19 Testing Program informed by New York State’s Micro-Cluster Strategy. The state’s micro-cluster strategy will mandate testing in Yellow, Orange, or Red micro-cluster zones, based on infection rates, daily new cases and hospital capacity. If a zip code, census tract or region is placed in one of those zones by the state, there will be restrictions for schools.

While the district is not currently in one of these zones, this plan allows for rapid testing at schools to ensure in-person learning can continue should we enter a Yellow, Orange or Red Zone.

NYS Updates Quarantine Policy for Contacts with No Symptoms

New York State officially revised its quarantine protocol timetable for close contacts of positive COVID-19 patients to align with the guidance put forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The CDC has adjusted its recommendations, allowing for a 10-day quarantine period if no symptoms are shown throughout the first 10 days. The East Greenbush Central School District recognizes the burden that a 14-day quarantine places on our students, staff, and families, and will honor the new guidelines laid out by state and federal health organizations.

Effective immediately, students and staff members identified as contacts who are not symptomatic may return to school/work after they have completed their 10-day quarantine. Those individuals should complete the COVID-19 Screening Form daily throughout their quarantine period.

New York State Travel Advisory

Effective November 4, 2020, any staff member or student who travels to another state, other than those contiguous to New York, may “test out” of the mandatory 14-day quarantine to return to in-person work or school. Travel to and from states contiguous to New York (Massachusetts, Vermont, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania) are exempt from the quarantine requirements. More information.

Return to School Requirements Following COVID-19 Symptoms

The East Greenbush Central School District has shared updated state requirements for when students can return to school after showing COVID-19 symptoms. Families will no longer need to submit a doctor’s note AND a negative COVID test result any time a student shows symptoms of COVID-19. The new process requires the student to be examined by their health care provider, who has the option of ordering a COVID test or giving a different diagnosis (e.g., a chronic condition unrelated to COVID-19).

If the health care provider orders a COVID test, the student can return to school only with a doctor’s note and the negative test results. If a COVID test is not ordered, the student can return to school with a doctor’s note stating the alternate diagnosis.

Flowchart for return to school procedures

Columbia Junior and Senior Proms Postponed

Based on the present guidelines for social distancing and the uncertainty of what the spring holds, at this time both the Columbia High School Junior and Senior proms have been postponed for the Spring of 2021. Please know that Columbia High School’s administrators and class advisors will continue to monitor the situation in hope that these events might be held if circumstances allow.

NYS Education Department Cancels January 2021 Regents Examinations

The January 2021 Regents Examinations have been canceled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, according to Interim State Education Commissioner Betty A. Rosa. No decision has been made regarding the June and August 2021 Regents Exams. More information.

External Groups Renting Space Inside Schools

The district has temporarily canceled all external group rentals inside our schools to help reduce the potential for community spread of COVID-19.

Free Meals for All Students Through June 30, 2021

The East Greenbush Central School District will provide free breakfast and lunch to any student enrolled in the district, age 19 and under, through June 30, 2021. The USDA is covering all costs. More 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 Athletic Director Michael Leonard at LeonarMi@egcsd.org or School Social Worker Audra Di Bacco at DiBaccau@egcsd.org to make arrangements for pickup or delivery. Donations are also being accepted on Mondays from 3-5 p.m. around the back of Columbia High School.

Suggested Donation Items:

  • Peanut Butter
  • Jelly
  • Canned Fruit/Fruit Cups
  • Snacks (Crackers, Chips, Goldfish, Fruit Snacks, Rice Krispie Treats)
  • Juice Boxes
  • Canned Vegetables
  • Rice (Bags or Boxes)
  • Boxed Potatoes
  • Pop Tarts
  • Granola Bars
  • Jello/Pudding
  • Tuna Fish
  • Canned Chicken
  • Beans (Bags or Boxes)
  • Chef Boyardee/Spaghettio’s

About Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is an illness caused by a virus that can spread from person to person. The virus that causes COVID-19 is a new coronavirus that has spread throughout the world. COVID-19 symptoms can range from mild (or no symptoms) to severe illness.

Symptoms

People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Fever (temperature of greater than 100.0° F in the last 14 days)
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

COVID Testing Sites

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

Prevention

The NYS Department of Health recommends the following ways to minimize the spread of all respiratory viruses, including COVID-19:

  • Wear a face covering (cloth mask or surgical mask that covers the mouth and nose) when you are in public.
  • 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. Keep a distance of at least 6 feet to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
  • 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.

Vaccine

Two vaccines have been authorized by the FDA and approved by New York State’s independent COVID-19 Clinical Advisory Task Force: One that was developed by Pfizer and BioNTech and another that was developed by Moderna. Both vaccines require two doses. Due to limited supply from the federal government, availability is limited. More and more New Yorkers will become eligible as the vaccine supply increases. While the vaccination process is underway, every New Yorker should wear a mask, social distance and avoid small and large gatherings.

As of January 11, 2021, New Yorkers in Phase 1a and segments of Phase 1b are eligible for the vaccines. ALL VACCINATIONS ARE BY APPOINTMENT ONLY. Eligible groups include doctors, nurses and health care workers, people age 65 and over, first responders, teachers, public transit workers, grocery store workers and public safety workers. Residents and staff at nursing homes and other long-term care facilities will continue to be vaccinated through a federal program, which the state is providing resources to accelerate.

  • Health care workers who are part of Phase 1a will continue to be vaccinated at hospitals and other clinical settings.
  • People age 65 and over will primarily be vaccinated at pharmacies and other sites that are part of the “retail network.” Use our online tool to find a location. The COVID-19 Vaccination Hotline is open 7AM – 10PM, 7 days a week, for scheduling vaccination appointments for eligible New Yorkers: 1-833-NYS-4-VAX (1-833-697-4829).
  • Public employees (for example, police departments, public school teachers and MTA employees) will primarily be vaccinated through their groups’ relevant health programs or as organized by their unions.
  • Second dose appointments will be booked AT the site where you receive your first shot. Remember: Both vaccines require two doses for effectiveness.

Travel

New York State has issued a travel advisory for anyone returning from travel to states that have a significant degree of community-wide spread of COVID-19. View Travel Advisory.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Homeland Security are applying travel restrictions and quarantines, as appropriate, for people traveling internationally. 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.

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.

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.

Resources

Updates

Rensselaer County COVID-19 Contacts