Dear Tiger Family,
As you are aware, the statewide universal mask mandate for schools was lifted as of today, March 2, 2022. This means that the majority of students, staff and school visitors are no longer required to wear a mask in our school buildings or school buses. Of course, mask-wearing continues to be optional for everyone.
As you also know, health and safety guidance from the state and local health departments related to COVID-19 continues to evolve. While the latest state guidance removes the mask requirement, the following health and safety protocols remain in place:
- Regardless of vaccination status, if a student tests positive for COVID-19 they must isolate for a full five days. Students may return to school after day five if they are asymptomatic or if symptoms are resolving. Per NYSDOH, for days 6-10 following a positive test, students are required to wear a mask in school, including on the school bus.
- If a student has been exposed to COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status it is highly recommended they wear a mask for a full 10 days following that exposure.
- State and local health officials continue to recommend testing for COVID-19 following a possible exposure. COVID-19 test kits are available at school to anyone who wants one. If you need a test kit, please contact your school’s Health Office.
- Anyone who has symptoms of COVID-19 should stay home from school, regardless of vaccination status or recent infection, until tested and/or isolate for five days. If your student has symptoms and you aren’t sure what to do, or if you need a COVID-19 test kit, contact your school’s Health Office.
As always, we remain committed to keeping our students in school, while providing a safe learning environment for all. We will continue to follow a tiered mitigation strategy to prevent the spread of illness in our schools and on our buses. This includes enhanced cleaning and disinfection procedures and improved ventilation, in addition to providing free at-home COVID-19 testing kits to our families and staff.
We will also continue our due diligence with regard to notifying impacted staff and families if we learn about a positive case. In some situations, this will involve a general notification alerting staff and families that there was a positive case in a particular class or school. In other cases, the identification of close contacts may be warranted. In these cases, we will provide the most up-to-date information related to COVID-19 testing, quarantine and isolation.
As always, we remain in close contact with state and local health officials and are committed to providing staff and families with clear, updated information on the latest health and safety guidance. Thank you for your continued partnership as we work to keep our students and staff healthy, and our students in school. If you have any questions or concerns about COVID-19 testing or other health and safety protocols, please do not hesitate to contact Mrs. Boucher, Head Nurse and COVID Liaison for the Hudson Falls School District.
Daniel A. Ward
Superintendent of Schools
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Information is effective March 2, 2022
ARE MASKS REQUIRED IN SCHOOL OR ON SCHOOL TRANSPORTATION?
No. The state requirement for universal masking ended on March 2, 2022 and encompasses all district activities, including: in-person instruction, transportation, and all extra-curricular activities.
Students, staff, faculty, and visitors maintain the ability to continue wearing a mask if they desire and the district will support their decision.
IS THERE A TIME WHEN MASKING IS REQUIRED?
The NYSDOH requires that students, staff, and faculty wear masks upon returning to school after a positive COVID diagnosis (Days 6-10 of their isolation period). Individuals who are required to wear masks in school, must also wear a mask on school transportation or when participating in any extra-curricular activities.
DOES THE REMOVAL OF THE MASK MANDATE CHANGE THE “ZONE OF EXPOSURE”?
In settings where masks are not worn, anyone within a 6-foot radius of an infected person shall be considered “exposed”.
HOW WILL I KNOW IF MY CHILD HAS BEEN EXPOSED AT SCHOOL?
The district will continue to notify direct contacts of a COVID-positive case.
WILL MY CHILD BE REQUIRED TO BE TESTED?
Symptomatic individuals, regardless of vaccination status, are required to be tested.
WHAT IF I DO NOT WANT MY SYMPTOMATIC CHILD TESTED?
Symptomatic individuals who are not tested must stay home for 5 days or until other criteria are met for school attendance. Upon returning to school, untested symptomatic students per NYSDOH, must wear a mask for days 6-10 of the isolation period.
I [or my student] HAVE BEEN EXPOSED TO A COVID POSITIVE INDIVIDUAL, WHAT SHOULD WE DO?
Contact tracing and case investigations are following the state’s newest guidelines. Please read the NYS Contact Tracing & Case Investigation FAQs here for further instruction: https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/contact-tracing-frequently-asked-questions
MY FAMILY USED AN “AT HOME” TEST KIT AND MY STUDENT TESTED POSITIVE FOR COVID, WHAT SHOULD WE DO?
- Please contact Mrs. Boucher and inform her of the positive test result.
- The student must be excluded from school and the positive test(s) must be self-reported by clicking the following link: COVID Self-Test Report.
- Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 will be required to isolate for a minimum of five (5) days, regardless of vaccination status. If symptoms are resolving after five (5) days, the student is allowed to attend school, but per NYSDOH, will be required to wear a mask for days 6-10 of the isolation period. If symptoms persist, further isolation will be required.
I AM EXPERIENCING COVID-LIKE SYMPTOMS, HOW SHOULD I PROCEED?
Students who are experiencing COVID-like symptoms, regardless of their vaccination status, must be excluded from attending school. Students may return to school under one of the following conditions:
- The students receives an alternate medical diagnosis from their Primary Care Physician, or
- The student receives a negative PCR test;
- The student receives two negative “At Home” rapid tests within 36 hours.
MY STUDENT WAS COVID POSITIVE AND HAS COMPLETED THEIR REQUIRED PERIOD OF ISOLATION/QUARANTINE, HOW DO THEY RETURN TO SCHOOL?
If the period of isolation or quarantine has expired, you may obtain your attestation forms by clicking this link: https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/new-york-state-contact-tracing
Any questions regarding this information can be forwarded to Superintendent Ward or your school’s Health Office.