Notification of COVID case, updated quarantine protocols

The district learned Friday of two confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Menands School community. 

  • For one of the cases, district leaders are working closely with the department of health to supply contact tracing information. Any students or staff members who were considered a close or proximate contact have been contacted by a school administrator and will also be contacted by the DOH to discuss the need to quarantine and other related information.
  • In the other case, the individual has not been in the school building during the 2020-21, therefore the department of health has advised that contact tracing procedures will not be necessary.

Please remember that the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and other privacy laws restrict the district from disclosing or confirming any personally identifiable information and we cannot identify anyone who has tested positive.

Updated Guidance & Quarantine Protocols

The Albany County Department of Health (ACDOH) has released updated guidance for schools that will impact our COVID-19 quarantine protocols. ACDOH is now advising that symptomatic students and their siblings should not attend in-person classes, pending COVID-19 test results for the symptomatic individual. In certain cases this could also be extended to additional household members. 

Additionally, Gov. Cuomo has announced updated quarantine guidelines for New York which are consistent with the latest Centers for Disease Control guidance. Under the new guidelines, individuals exposed to COVID-19 can end their quarantine after 10 days without a testing requirement as long as no symptoms have been reported during the quarantine period. After day 10 is reached, individuals must continue monitoring for symptoms through day 14 and if any develop, they should immediately self-isolate and contact the local health department or their healthcare provider to report this change and determine if they should seek testing.

School-Based Testing Update and Reminder

Gov. Cuomo this week also discussed the use of school-based COVID testing to guide decisions about remaining open for in-person learning amid increasing infection rates. We want you to know that we continue to prepare for this testing of students and staff at school.

If you have not yet responded to the testing consent form, we ask that you fill it out for your child(ren) as soon as possible. We thank those of you who have already taken the time to complete it.

Remaining open for in-person instruction

Please note that, although the COVID-19 infection rate continues to increase in our region, all available data indicates that the rate of virus transmission in schools is quite low compared with the larger community. Unless staffing shortages require all-remote learning or there is evidence of broader virus transmission in schools, our plan is to remain open for in-person learning to the greatest extent possible. We will continue to work with our public health partners to monitor all available information, including how the increased infection rates relate to schools.

All health and safety measures remain fully in effect throughout the district. They include mask wearing, social distancing, enhanced cleaning and disinfecting. Please be sure to submit a health attestation form for each child by 7:30 a.m. daily. We thank you for your continued cooperation and support in our efforts to keep everyone in our school community healthy and safe.