The Albany County Department of Health (ACDOH) has released updated guidance for schools that will impact our COVID-19 quarantine protocols. ACDOH is now advising that symptomatic students and their siblings should not attend in-person classes, pending COVID-19 test results for the symptomatic individual.
Additionally, Gov. Cuomo has announced updated quarantine guidelines for the state which are consistent with the latest Centers for Disease Control guidance. Under the new guidelines, individuals exposed to COVID-19 can end their quarantine after 10 days without a testing requirement as long as no symptoms have been reported during the quarantine period. After day 10 is reached, individuals must continue monitoring for symptoms through day 14 and if any develop, they should immediately self-isolate and contact the local health department or their healthcare provider to report this change and determine if they should seek testing.
With these updated recommendations in mind, this means that siblings of a symptomatic student could not return to school until the symptomatic student receives a negative COVID test result or, if no testing is done, quarantining for the entire 10 day period while remaining symptom-free.
Please note that, although the COVID-19 infection rate continues to increase in our region, all available data indicates that the rate of virus transmission in schools is quite low compared with the larger community. Unless staffing shortages require all-remote learning or there is evidence of broader virus transmission in schools, our plan is to remain open for in-person learning to the greatest extent possible. We will continue to work with our public health partners to monitor all available information, including how the increased infection rates relate to schools.