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Quarantine Clarification Information: 1/3/22

Dear RCSD Community,

We’ve received a number of questions from parents about the rules regarding quarantine, and I hope this message will provide additional clarity. We understand that some local urgent care clinics are telling parents of COVID-positive students that they may return to school after 5 days of quarantine; this is NOT the case. The CDC has said that 5 days is sufficient but this has NOT yet been adopted by New York State or the County Department of Health with regard to students. We must legally continue to abide by a 10-day quarantine for students.

Please find a detailed decision tree below to help you determine if your student(s) should quarantine, and for how long: 

  • Vaccinated, exposed - A fully-vaccinated student (currently defined as 14 days after second dose) who has been exposed to a COVID-positive individual is recommended by the DOH to quarantine for 10 days. Quarantine is not required, but the DOH has been recommending quarantine due to the high incidence of breakthrough infections of late. May participate in RCSD Test-to-Stay program if exposed in-school*
  • Unvaccinated, exposed - A partially or unvaccinated student who has been exposed to a COVID-positive individual is required to quarantine for 10 days. May participate in RCSD Test-to-Stay program if exposed in-school*
  • Vaccinated, COVID-positive - A fully vaccinated (currently defined as 14 days after second dose)  student who has tested positive on a rapid, PCR or antigen test must quarantine for 10 days from the date of the beginning of symptoms OR the date of the positive test if there are no symptoms present. May not participate in RCSD Test-to-Stay program
  • Unvaccinated, COVID-positive - A partially or unvaccinated student who has tested positive on a rapid, PCR or antigen test must quarantine for 10 days from the date of the beginning of symptoms OR the date of the positive test if there are no symptoms present. May not participate in RCSD Test-to-Stay program
  • Symptomatic, not exposed, vaccinated or unvaccinated - A student can present a lab-administered negative antigen test to the school nurse to allow the student to attend school if they have some symptoms, but have not been knowingly exposed to a COVID-positive individual. The student must be well enough to participate in school and:
  1. May not have a runny nose
  2. May not have a cough severe enough to make wearing a mask difficult
  3. Must be fever-free for 24 hours without use of fever-reducing medication

 *The NYS DOH recently clarified eligibility for participation in the Test-to-Stay program. Test-to-Stay only applies to RCSD students for in-school exposures. Students exposed to COVID outside of school are not eligible to participate in Test-to-Stay in any school district. 

As we grapple with the current surge, we, like other area school districts, are seeing a lot of faculty and staff absences due to COVID. This is creating problems having sufficient staffing in the schools. We are doing our very best to provide seamless coverage when necessary, but we may experience some challenges. Please be patient and understanding, knowing that school may not feel entirely normal this week.

Sincerely,

Eric Byrne, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools