District reminds of COVID-19 notification procedures

You may have heard news of positive COVID-19 cases affecting other schools in our region. We wanted to let you know what to expect if there is a case that affects Herkimer students and/or staff.

How we will contact you

If and when we do have a positive case within the school community, the local Department of Health will contact anyone who may have been exposed. The district will support these contact tracing efforts by working closely with the Department of Health.

The district will also report any positive cases to the statewide COVID-19 dashboard for K-12 schools, but please be aware that if someone in your household is at risk of exposure, you will be contacted directly.

Please also know that the health privacy of our staff and students will be protected. While we will work with the Department of Health to make sure everyone gets the information they need to stay safe, the district will not release personal information that could compromise anyone’s health privacy.

If students need to shift to remote learning for any reason — including COVID-19 risks — we will notify families immediately. Please let your child’s school know right away if your phone number, email address or home address changes. This will help us reach you if and when we need to.

How we stay safe

With this news of positive cases, it is all the more important that we continue to follow the safety protocols that have been established. There is no one single way to protect against COVID-19 within the school; therefore, our district’s approach is a layered one. Even if one “layer” were breached, the other two “layers” are there to limit the spread of any outbreak.

The 3 layers of school safety. There is no one way to protect against COVID-19. Therefore, our school's approach is a layered one. Together, these 'layers' for a strong defense against the spread of COVID-19 within our school. LAYER 1: KEEP COVID OUT. Visitor restrictions and health screenings help keep sick people out of the building. LEVEL 2: PREVENT SPREAD. Masks, social distancing, hygiene and cleaning practices limit the spread of germs at school. LEVEL 3: PREVENT ESCAPE. Student cohorts and online learning limit contacts within the school, minimizing the chance of an outbreak.

Layer 1: Keep COVID Out

Restricting visitor access to the building, and asking all students and staff to complete a health screening before coming to school, helps keep sick people out of the school building.

Layer 2: Prevent Spread

When students and staff are inside the building, masks, social distancing and hygiene practices like hand washing help limit the spread of germs. Enhanced cleaning practices also help keep germs and illness from spreading

Layer 3: Prevent Escape

Keeping students in small groups, or “cohorts,” and limiting each cohort’s interaction with multiple teachers, limits the risk of spreading illness to a large number of people.

We appreciate your cooperation with these new protocols. It is our hope that these measures will help all of us stay healthy.

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