A new regulation by the New York State Department of Health (DOH) says that all school students, teachers, and staff with new or worsening symptoms of COVID-19, cannot be in school, regardless of vaccination status. They must either provide a negative PCR COVID test result, or remain out of school for a minimum of 10 calendar days from symptom onset, prior to returning to school.
If symptoms are improving and they are fever-free for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medicines, they may return to school following a negative PCR COVID test. They will also need to provide a note from a healthcare provider indicating the test was negative or a copy of the negative test result.
Meanwhile, the new DOH guidelines also require that all unvaccinated teachers and staff working in New York State schools will be required to take a COVID-19 test once a week. Fully vaccinated employees can opt out of the testing if they show proof of their status with either a CDC card or Excelsior Pass.
Schools are also required to have the capacity to provide diagnostic testing for any student, teacher, or staff member who is symptomatic or has been exposed to someone infected with COVID-19.
The district continues to work with Herkimer County Public Health and the Herkimer County BOCES safety office on the COVID-19 testing requirements. We appreciate your patience as we work through these new guidelines.