Dear Pine Bush Families and Staff,
On Tuesday morning, Oct. 20, the Pine Bush Central School District administrators were notified that an individual member of the EJ Russell Elementary School community tested positive for COVID-19.
District officials contacted the Orange County Department of Health (OCDOH) to assist them with the identification and contact of the staff members and parents/guardians of all students who were in direct, close or proximate contact with the individual while on district property. The OCDOH is implementing its contact tracing protocols and will reach out to all contacts and advise them on the need to quarantine, if necessary, and to arrange testing of those potentially exposed.
Due to many privacy laws, district officials are prohibited from disclosing or confirming any personally identifiable information. Thus, we cannot identify by name anyone who has tested positive. The individual who tested positive is in isolation for at least 14 days and will not return to the school environment until cleared by the OCDOH.
Due to our initial contact tracing efforts and discussions with the Orange County Department of Health, some students were sent home today to avoid exposing other children. As a result of all of the information learned so far, we have decided that EJ Russell Elementary School will go to remote learning on Wednesday, Oct. 21 through Friday, Oct. 30, in order to keep all of our students and staff members safe. The school will reopen on Monday, Nov. 2.
This notification to parents and our community at large is part of our commitment to keep you informed during these uncertain times. Currently, all other school buildings will maintain their current instructional model. We will continue to work closely with the Orange County Department of Health and will follow their guidance on how to maintain a safe and healthy learning environment.
Please continue to conduct at-home screenings and maintain personal awareness of COVID-19 symptoms for your children. Please answer the phone if the health department contacts you. A contact tracer may be trying to reach you with important information. Please check your child’s temperature each morning and check for any symptoms of COVID-19. They include:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
Anyone with a fever of 100 degrees or more, or any symptom of COVID-19, must remain home and parents/guardians should contact their health care provider and school nurse for further procedures/protocols.
We are confident that the protocols we have put in place in our schools, including social distancing, the requirement for wearing a mask throughout the day, and cleaning and sanitizing practices, will help minimize the spread of this virus to others.
Visit our Return to Learn Plan on our website or contact your child’s school principal directly if you would like more information about our health and safety procedures.
Acting Superintendent of Schools
Pine Bush Central School District