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New Contact Tracing Guidance from County DOH: 1/19/22

Dear RCSD Parents and Guardians,

Last week, New York State and the Westchester County Department of Health announced they would no longer be conducting contact tracing for COVID-19 positive individuals due to the high positivity rate in the region. This past Friday, the DOH also announced that it would no longer require schools to conduct contact tracing either, with the proviso that they meet certain conditions. 

Beginning immediately, the RCSD will no longer conduct contact tracing; however, you will be notified if your student was exposed to an individual who is COVID-positive in school. 

For most parents, the new procedures won’t feel very different. We will still be contacting you if your child is exposed at school, but it will be via email, rather than via phone. If your child tests positive for COVID-19, you should still contact your school nurse for information about quarantine/isolation procedures and return to school.

The conditions under which we will operate moving forward are as follows:

When informed of a COVID-19 positive diagnosis, the RCSD will contact:

The Parents/Guardians of COVID-Positive Students to:

  • Share isolation/quarantine requirements with the student’s family via email, including:
    • Number of isolation days required
    • Criteria for shortened isolation
  • Provide a link to the return to school health attestation form one day prior to return to school. See a sample of the form here

The Parents/Guardians of Close School-Related Contacts of the COVID-Positive Students to:

  • Notify the parents/guardians of students who have been exposed at school via email
  • Ask them to monitor for symptoms and notify the school nurse if symptoms appear
  • For unvaccinated/partially-vaccinated students:
    • Offer the option to participate in Test-to-Stay program 
    • Explain the option to quarantine and live stream school and provide:
      • Quarantine recommendations
      • Criteria for shortened quarantine
    • Provide a link to the return to school health attestation form one day prior to return to school. See a sample of the form here

The Entire School Community:

  • Daily 7:00 p.m. notification of positive COVID-19 cases will continue until further notice

I will hold two Google Meet Q&A sessions to discuss the new procedures:

Thank you so much for your patience and understanding as we continue to navigate the ever-changing guidance and surprises of the pandemic. It is clear from our data that the situation is rapidly improving. I am optimistic that we will soon be returning to a more typical school experience in Rye. I am grateful to our faculty, staff, custodians, nurses, and administrators for their resilience and strength that has been so amazing throughout the past few years. It has not been easy and they continue to step up and keep our schools running well. Please join me in thanking them for their efforts.

Sincerely,

Eric Byrne, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools