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Important COVID-19 guidance clarification for all Orange County school districts

Attention Washingtonville families:

Please be aware of this important COVID-19 guidance clarification for all Orange County schools:

In lieu of New York State Department of Health/New York State Education Department official written guidance, a health care provider’s note will be required to return to school if any member of the school (student, staff, or faculty) is not attending due to potential symptom(s) of COVID-19, confirmed positive/ diagnosis of COVID-19, and/ or post exposure to COVID-19 positive case quarantine, including but not limited to the following scenarios:

  1. For a COVID-19 related symptom: If a student/staff/faculty member displays a COVID-19-related symptom, they must obtain a healthcare provider note to return to school. Symptoms of COVID-19 include, but are not limited, to: fever or chills (100 F or greater), persistent cough, shortness of breath of difficulty breathing, extreme fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell, congestion or runny nose, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, unexplained rash, pinkeye.
  2. For pertinent exposure: Examples of this could include recent travel including international travel or travel to a state listed on the NYSDOH travel advisory website  (https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/covid-19-travel-advisory) where precautionary quarantine should be completed for 14 days from the date when the person left the restricted state or after completion of mandatory quarantine following exposure to a confirmed COVID-19 case.
  3. Following COVID-19 diagnosis and subsequent isolation period: If a student/staff/faculty member tests positive for the virus (SARS-CoV-2) that causes COVID-19, they must have a health care provider note AND the following conditions must be met: symptom resolution, at least 10 days have passed since the onset of symptoms for symptomatic individuals or 10 days from the collection date (test date) of the positive COVID-19 test for asymptomatic individuals; AND at least 24 hours have passed since the resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medication. A negative COVID-19 test will not be required, unless specifically requested by the Department of Health, but may be provided in addition to the health care provider’s note.

Healthcare provider notes must include, AT MINIMUM, the following information:

  1. The individual is cleared to return to school/work
  2. The individual has an alternate diagnosis unrelated to COVID-19 (for scenario number 1 above) OR the individual has no subsequent illness after completing their quarantine period (for scenario 2 above) OR the individual has successfully completed their isolation period and meet the current CDC clearance guidance (for scenario 3 above).
  3. The alternate diagnosis does not have to be listed in the note, but may need to be discussed confidentially with the school nurse and/ or the local health department.

The health care provider clearance note will assist with mitigating the potential risk of exposure to COVID-19 in a congregate school environment, as Washingtonville continues to work to ensure the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff and residents.

NOTE: School nurses CAN use their clinical judgment  when deciding to send a child or staff/faculty member home from school or work due to suspected potential COVID-19-related illness, and or based on exposure potential.

ADDITIONALLY:  Individuals exposed to a confirmed case of COVID-19 will need to quarantine for 14 days from their last date of exposure. Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 may be released from isolation as soon as 10 days depending on symptom resolution. This is due to the incubation period of the virus, how long it may take someone to become ill after being exposed to the virus.

Thank you for your attention to this important information.