The NY State Department of Health guidance serves as the mandatory baseline of health and safety protocols for school districts to follow. Testing is part of a continuum of mitigation efforts that includes mandatory daily screening, testing for symptomatic individuals or exposures and contact tracing.
The district has a plan in place in which any positive cases will be tracked through established contact tracing protocols and in coordination with the local health department.
If anyone has or is suspected of having COVID-19 symptoms, they will be referred to their primary care physician, urgent care center or the Otsego County Department of Health to be directed to a testing site.
In the event that a large-scale testing will need to be conducted at the school, the district administration will work with the Otsego County Department of Health and Bassett Healthcare.
Instruction from the Otsego County Department of Health can change the district’s guidelines regarding contact tracing and the need to initiate a quarantine. The district will consult and work closely with the Otsego County Department of Health on a case by case basis.
COVID-19 CONTACT TRACING
The Oneonta City School District Superintendent, or his designee, will notify the state and local health department immediately upon being informed of any positive COVID-19 diagnostic test result by an individual within school facilities or on school grounds, including students, faculty, staff, and visitors of the district.
The district will assist with contact tracing by:
- Keeping accurate attendance records of students and staff members
- Ensuring student schedules are up to date
- Keeping a log of any visitor which includes date and time, and all school locations which were visited.
When possible, the district will close off potential contamination areas for a 24-hour period, after which the areas will be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized. Where closure of a potentially contaminated area is impractical, the area will be immediately cleaned and sanitized by custodial staff utilizing appropriate PPE.
Confidentiality must be maintained as required by federal and state laws and regulations. School staff should not try to determine who is to be excluded from school based on contact without guidance and direction from the Otsego County Department of Health.
Collaboration with Otsego County Health Department
Every positive COVID-19 result in New York State is reported to the local health department automatically, and they will do a case investigation. The positive person and/or their parent/guardian will be notified by their healthcare provider of their results. Upon notification of a positive test result, the local health department will speak with the positive individual and/or their parent/guardian in order to get a history of their activities and potential exposures. The person will be issued an isolation order to isolate for at least ten days and until they are 72 hours of being fever free without a fever reducer and generally feeling better.
The case investigation process will include gathering close and proximate contacts from the communicable period. The communicable period begins 48 hours before a person’s symptoms begin, or if asymptomatic, 48 hours before the test was given. If a positive individual identifies a school building as a place they have been within their communicable period, the local health department will work with the school district’s COVID liaison to gather the list of contacts and place them in quarantine. Contacts will receive a call from the local Department of Health or a contact tracer and be placed in quarantine. For individuals designated as a contact, quarantine will last until released by the department of health (at least 10 days from date of last exposure). In addition, contacts should continue to monitor themselves for any signs or symptoms of COVID for up to 14 days after last exposure. Although we advise anyone in quarantine who is not feeling well to be tested, a negative test result will not get the individual out of quarantine until the 14 days have passed.