COVID-19 Guidance

The health and safety of all Guilderland Central School District students, staff, families and community members is our top priority and we remain committed to doing our part to minimize the potential impact of COVID-19.

The district is following the latest COVID-19 guidance from the New York State Department of Health. For more information, please review What Parents/Caregivers Should Know about COVID Mitigation Strategies for the 2022-2023 School Year (August 2022).

Illness and/or positive COVID-19 test | Return to school after illness | Testing | Continuity of Instruction | COVID-19 vaccination | Masks | Health and safety protocols | Reporting COVID-19 cases | Resources

Illness and/or positive COVID-19 test

As with any infectious illness, students and staff who test positive for COVID-19, or who show symptoms, are asked to stay home from school and follow the Centers for Disease Control’s Isolation Guidance. If symptoms begin while at school, students and staff will be asked to wear a well-fitting mask while arrangements are made to go home. GCSD will provide individuals with a COVID-19 test kit, to be administered at home.

In keeping with the long-standing guidelines GCSD follows, students and staff who are experiencing the following symptoms will be excluded from school:

  • Fever greater than 100.0F (37.8C)
  • Flu-like symptoms, (fever, headache, fatigue, muscle aches)
  • Vomiting and/or diarrhea within the last 24 hours
  • Severe sore throat along with fever and feeling ill for more than 48 hours, or after exposure to Strep throat infection
  • Sores around the nose or mouth or rash on other body parts
  • Large amounts of mucous (liquid) from the nose, with facial pain or headache
  • Severe ear pain or fluid coming from the ear
  • Severe headache, especially with fever

Please refer to the attached chart or plain text for guidelines regarding whether students should come to school when experiencing symptoms.

Students and staff must be fever-free for 24 hours without taking fever reducers before returning to school. They must be free of vomiting and diarrhea for 24 hours before they return. If placed on an antibiotic, students and staff can not return until they have been on the antibiotic for 24 hours.

Return to school after illness

When positive for COVID-19

All students, teachers and staff with new or worsening symptoms of COVID-19 must be excluded from school, regardless of vaccination status.

  • An individual who tests positive and has no symptoms may return to school after day 5.
  • An individual who is sick (has symptoms) may return to school after day 5 if they have been fever-free for 24 hours (without the use of fever-reducing medication) and symptoms are improving.

Students and staff who test positive for COVID-19 are not required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test to return to school.

It is important to note that two negative COVID-19 tests, administered within 36 hours of each other, is the best practice to follow before returning to school, however this is not a requirement by the Guilderland Central School District.

Students and staff who have been sick, or tested positive, should wear a mask through day 10.

When negative for COVID-19

Students and staff who test negative for COVID-19 may return to school, if symptoms are improving and they are not experiencing the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Vomiting and/or diarrhea

Testing

Testing is recommended for individuals with symptoms of COVID-19 as soon as possible after symptoms begin. Should students and/or staff develop symptoms while they are in a Guilderland school building, they will be given an at-home test kit and sent home. Positive COVID-19 test results from an at-home test kit must be reported to Albany County Department of Health. GCSD school nurses are also required to report positive COVID-19 test results to ACDOH.

At-home test kits

The Guilderland Central School District provides at-home COVID-19 test kits for students and staff. If you need an at-home COVID test, please contact your respective building principal. Contact information can be found on the district website.

Continuity of instruction

When students must be absent from school due to COVID-19, or any other illness, they are responsible for missed schoolwork and should follow their teachers’ policy and schedule for completion. Students and families are encouraged to visit Seesaw (Grades K-2) or Google Classroom sites (Grades 3 and above), whichever is applicable, for assignments, as well as complete missed schoolwork. Upon return to school, students should follow up with their teachers.

COVID-19 vaccination

COVID-19 vaccinations are not required to attend school. Children ages 6 months and older are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Children older than 5 are eligible for a booster. For more information, visit ny.gov/vaxtoschool. Additional information regarding the COVID-19 vaccine can be found on the New York State vaccination website.

Masks

At this time, universal masking in school settings, including on district transportation, is not required. Any student or staff member may wear a mask while at school to prevent the spread of illness. The district, in accordance with CDC and NYSDOH guidelines, recommends students and staff wear masks when:

  • They have tested positive, but have returned to school after day 5; masks must be worn through day 10.
  • They are known to have been exposed to COVID-19 in any setting within the previous 10 days, regardless of vaccination status or history of prior COVID-19 infection.
  • COVID-19 community levels are high.
  • They come to school with symptoms or develop symptoms while at school, and are still in a school building.
  • They feel more comfortable wearing a mask for personal reasons.
  • They are moderately-to-severely immunocompromised and have discussed the need to mask with their healthcare provider(s).

Masked and unmasked people will be working and learning alongside each other, and the Guilderland Central School District promotes “mask positive” environments. The objective of such environments is that those who wear masks, whether by choice, expectation or requirement, are not stigmatized, bullied or made to feel uncomfortable. Likewise, those for whom masks have not been required or recommended are not stigmatized, bullied or made to feel uncomfortable. Pursuant to the Dignity For All Students Act, students have the right to a school environment free from harassment and bullying.

Health and safety protocols

Routine cleaning in our school buildings continues to be an important strategy for reducing the spread of illness. High-risk areas such as health offices, classrooms, lunchrooms, athletic rooms, bathrooms and high-traffic areas are cleaned on a daily basis, according to a standard cleaning schedule.

High-touch surfaces such as lunch tables, desks, chairs, light switches and handrails are cleaned a minimum of once a day, with the exception of areas such as cafeteria tables, which will be cleaned after each use.

All classrooms in the district will be provided with hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes.

Reporting COVID-19 cases

The Guilderland Central School District will no longer report positive COVID-19 case numbers to families. In addition, school districts in New York state are no longer required to report COVID-19 data to the New York State COVID-19 Report Card. To view the COVID-19 Community level in this area, please visit the CDC website.

Resources

 


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