Update About Micro-Cluster Zones and COVID Testing

Please see the message below from Superintendent Dr. Wiles:

Dear GCSD Families,

By now, you have likely seen New York State’s Micro-Cluster Initiative, where regions of the state are designated Yellow, Orange or Red zones. These zones are based on the prevalence of COVID-19 in those areas; each zone designation comes with various restrictions for businesses, gatherings, and schools. You can read more about New York State’s Cluster Action Initiative here.

At this time, our region is not in one of these zones, but as COVID-19 infection rates increase in our area, we are likely to be there soon. I want you to know that our goal is to stay open for in-person learning as long as it is safe and permitted by the state and the Department of Health.

If we are deemed to be in one of these zones, the state will require we test a specified percentage of all in-person students and staff for COVID-19 over a given period of time. The option to stay open will depend on if we obtain enough voluntary consent for testing, and how our school community’s test results compare to the overall population.

We are working with Capital Region BOCES and the Albany County Department of Health to prepare our testing plan to meet the state’s requirements to stay open. We will be asking all staff and families to consider consenting to a minimally invasive, rapid COVID-19 test. We will share more details about the testing and consent process very soon.

I encourage you to watch your email and the district website for information. I also ask that you continue to take the necessary health and safety precautions to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and keep our schools open.

While this is yet another challenge for our school community, we are committed to keeping our schools open for in-person instruction, so long as we can do so safely, if we are designated a micro-cluster zone. Working together, I am confident that we can get through this new challenge. Thank you so much for your ongoing support, patience, and flexibility so far this school year. It is greatly appreciated!

Sincerely,

Dr. Marie Wiles
Superintendent of Schools

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