Dear Cohoes Families,
As mentioned previously, the statewide universal mask mandate for schools was lifted today, March 2, 2022. Students, staff, and visitors now have the option of wearing a mask in our school buildings or on school buses. We are asking everyone to be respectful and kind to their friends, teachers, and others whether they choose to wear a mask or not.
This change follows the new CDC guidance released on Feb. 25 based on community transmission levels and other local public health data. Yesterday evening, the New York State Department of Health and New York State Education Department released updated school mask guidance, as well as a Frequently Asked Question Document.
While the health and safety guidance from the state and local health departments related to COVID-19 continues to evolve, the following health and safety protocols remain in place:
- Regardless of vaccination status, if a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19 they must isolate for a full five days. Students or staff members may return to school after day five if they are asymptomatic or if symptoms are resolving. For days 6-10 following a positive test, students and staff members are required to wear a mask in school, including on the school bus.
- If a student has been exposed to COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status, it is highly recommended they wear a mask for a full 10 days following that exposure.
- State and local health officials continue to recommend testing for COVID-19 following a possible exposure. At-home tests are available at school to anyone who wants one. If you need a test please contact your school principal or nurse.
- Anyone who has symptoms of COVID-19 should stay home from school, regardless of vaccination status or recent infection, until tested and/or isolate for five days. If your child has symptoms and you aren’t sure what to do, contact the school nurse.
As always, we remain committed to keeping our students in school, while providing a safe learning environment for all. We will continue to follow a tiered mitigation strategy to prevent the spread of illness in our schools. This includes:
- Social distancing
- Encouragement of hand washing and sanitizing
- Enhanced cleaning and disinfection
- Increased ventilation
We will continue to communicate with parents and guardians if their child has been identified as a close contact of a positive case and will update our website daily.
Thank you for your ongoing cooperation and support. If you have any questions or concerns about COVID-19 testing or other health and safety protocols, please do not hesitate to contact your child’s principal or me.
Superintendent of Schools.