Re-Opening OBEN Schools
As of June 8, 2021, face masks are no longer required outdoors on school grounds, including during outdoor school sports, outdoor recess, and physical education classes that are held outdoors. Any student, teacher, staff member, or visitor may continue to wear an acceptable face mask voluntarily on school grounds. Please note that indoor mask-wearing is still required at this time.
Important points about the updated guidance:
- After observing quarantine for 10 days an individual identified as a contact may return to school/work without a Covid test.
- The individual must have been symptom-free for the ten-day duration of quarantine.
- The individual must observe ALL District guidance regarding distancing, mask-wearing, handwashing, and must employ any/all mitigation opportunities made available to them (desk shields, open window, virtual meetings, avoidance of carpooling with others) during the remaining four days.
- The individual must continue ongoing daily monitoring of symptoms and twice-daily temperature taking. Persons with a temperature of 100 degrees or high are considered symptomatic.
- At the first sign of any potentially Covid-19 related symptoms, the individual must immediately isolate, be sent home, or leave school/work.
- An individual who becomes symptomatic must consult the Covid-19 information page, must re-submit their daily Cleared4Class health link to reflect their change in health status, and must notify their building nurse or Eileen McCartney immediately.
- An individual who becomes symptomatic must consult their private physician to discuss testing and their health care guidance.
School districts are required to report known COVID cases to the Department of Health (DOH) on a daily basis. This information is publicly available on the DOH COVID-19 Data Dashboard. We anticipate that this portal will serve as a primary source of information to keep our learning community updated.
Guidance on Contacts of a Close or Proximate Contact of a Confirmed or Suspected Case of COVID-19
As more cases of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) are identified or suspected across New York State, and individuals and families are required or recommended for mandatory or precautionary quarantine, it is important that there is a common understanding of the risk to "contacts of contacts" of a suspected or confirmed case.
DOH Policy Guidance
Person A is diagnosed with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19. If Person B had contact, close (1) or proximate (2), with Person A, Person B would be subject to mandatory quarantine (3) (if close contact) or precautionary quarantine (4) (if proximate contact).
Any individual (Person C) who is a contact of Person B (i.e. spouse, children, co- workers, etc.) is considered a “contact of a contact”. Person C is not at risk for infection and would not be subject to quarantine unless Person B had or developed symptoms, or tested positive for the virus causing COVID-19.
(1)Close contact is defined as “being within 6 ft of a person displaying symptoms of COVID-19 or someone who has tested positive of COVID-19”
(2)Proximate contact is defined as “being in the same enclosed environment such as a classroom, office, or gatherings but greater than 6 ft from a person displaying symptoms of COVID-19 or someone who has tested positive for COVID-19”
(3)Mandatory quarantine is required for a person who “has been in close contact (6 ft.) with someone who is positive, but is not displaying symptoms for COVID-19; or person has traveled to China, Iran, Japan, South Korea or Italy and is displaying symptoms of COVID-19”
(4) Precautionary quarantine is required for a person who “meets one or more of the following criteria: (i) has traveled to China, Iran, Japan, South Korea or Italy while COVID-19 was prevalent, but is not displaying symptoms; or (ii) is known to have had a proximate exposure to a positive person but has not had direct contact with a positive person and is not displaying symptoms”
Examples of “Contact of a Contact” Scenarios:
o If an asymptomatic individual is contacted by a local health department to be notified that they are a contact of a confirmed case, they will be required to be under mandatory quarantine or precautionary quarantine in their home, depending on if contact was close or proximate respectively, following the guidelines provided by the state.
Any spouse, children or other household members, assuming both they and the individual under quarantine are asymptomatic, are considered a “contact of a contact” and therefore are not required to be in quarantine. They can go to school, work, and engaged other activities following recommendations for social distancing as appropriate.
If an asymptomatic employee calls their supervisor and notifies them that they are required to stay home in quarantine because they were a contact of a confirmed case, the contacts they had at work are considered “contacts of a contact” and therefore not at risk. These “contacts of a contact” are not required to be in quarantine and should be permitted to continue to work, following recommendations for social distancing as appropriate.
Travel Advisory Information
In the recently issued Executive Order 205.2, Governor Cuomo revised the New York State Travel Advisory and quarantine requirements for travelers arriving in New York State effective November 4, 2020. See Travel Advisory and Guidance and Travel Advisory List. In addition to the states on the travel advisory list, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts have been experiencing higher rates of transmission that meet the metrics for the list. Governor Cuomo urges New Yorkers to avoid non-essential travel to these states. Please see the link above for the complete travel advisory list and the quarantine guidance issued by the DOH. This list changes almost daily so please check back often. We must all do our part to adhere to DOH requirements to keep our learning community safe.
The New York State Department of Health has released a toolkit that outlines pre-K-grade 12 protocols for screening and testing. Information in this toolkit pertains to families, students, staff, and medical providers. Please take a moment to read it at the link below.
CLEARED4CLASS Questionnaire Must be Completed DAILY
As you are aware, the District is using a health & safety platform called CLEARED4CLASS. You should be receiving a daily text that prompts you to respond to a link that reveals a questionnaire. THIS QUESTIONNAIRE MUST BE COMPLETED DAILY BEFORE YOUR CHILD COMES TO SCHOOL. (This is a change from completing it every 14 days as originally communicated so that we can better manage and mitigate illness.) CLEARED4CLASS is CRITICAL to our district-wide health management plan because it enables us to monitor COVID symptoms and quickly identify others who might have been exposed if someone has symptoms. Each day, based on your survey answers, you will get a green, orange or red status.
- For students, parents and teachers with no symptoms, and no known risk of exposure for at least 10 days, you will receive a GreenPass to your device (similar to a boarding pass for a flight) which means you are safe to come to school.
- Your child is not required to display anything upon entry to the building.
- No app or download is needed and there is no log in required. Simply bookmark the link to your device.
- If you report symptoms, you will not receive a GreenPass for that day, and you will be asked to stay at home for at least 10 days.
- You are asked to respond daily, except for weekends.
If you do not receive a GreenPass for any reason, even an error submission, you must notify the District’s COVID Coordinator Ms. Eileen McCartney at EMcCartney@obenschools.org immediately. Even if you re-take the questionnaire and receive a GreenPass this step is required.
If you have any change in status regarding symptoms or exposure, please access your link right away to notify the COVID Coordinator. Please do not wait to do this.
If you have any issues using CLEARED4CLASS, please contact email@example.com.
Virtual Family Meetings
The District held online discussion/Q&A meetings for families to address questions about the re-opening of schools. These meetings were recorded and can be accessed for viewing at the links below.
Vernon families - See Recorded Meeting Here
TR families - See Recorded Meeting Here
OBHS families - See Recorded Meeting Here (Grades 7-12)
Please see tabs at left for additional information.
ACCEPTABLE FACE COVERINGS
As per the CDC's updated guidance on face coverings gaiters, bandanas and face coverings with vents are no longer permitted as effective face coverings in our school buildings. Our District’s medical team strongly supports these recommendations and requires all to adhere to the guidance by wearing the appropriate face coverings as outlined by the CDC. Please know that our buildings are equipped with disposable face coverings for those who need one. Our District is continually evaluating and adjusting our health and safety protocols to best meet the needs of our learning community. We greatly appreciate your continued cooperation and support in keeping our schools safe.