Good evening PBCSD Families,
I need to share brand new guidance that I received just today from Dr. Gelman, our Orange County Health Commissioner. As we gear up for phase two of our Return to Learn plan, with some special needs classes returning next Monday Sept. 21, 2020, and pre-k slated to begin their hybrid schedule on Tuesday, Sept. 22, I want you to know about these new regulations that we are required to follow.
If a student displays a COVID-19-related symptom, or has recently traveled internationally or to a state listed on the NYSDOH travel advisory website, they must obtain a a clearance note from their healthcare provider to return to school.
Symptoms of COVID-19 include but are NOT limited to: fever or chills (100 degrees F or greater), persistent cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, extreme fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, sore throat, new loss of taste and/or smell, congestion or runny nose, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, unexplained rash, pinkeye.
If a student tests positive for the virus that causes COVID-19, they must have a health care provider note AND they must meet the following conditions:
- Passage of at least 10 days 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:
- The individual is cleared to return to school.
- That the individual either has an alternate diagnosis unrelated to COVID (for scenario number 1 above based on symptoms) OR
- the individual has no subsequent illness after completing their quarantine period (if it’s based on travel) OR
- the individual has successfully completed their isolation period and met the current CDC clearance guidance (if they have tested positive).
The alternate diagnosis does not have to be listed in the note, but it may need to be discussed confidentially with the school nurse and/ or the local health department.
The County Department of Health believes that by requiring this doctor’s clearance note will help mitigate the potential risk of exposure to COVID-19 in a school environment, and we certainly want to work collectively to ensure the health and safety of our students, staff and families.
I hope you enjoy your weekend and that you all are staying healthy and safe! And to our Jewish families, who began their celebration of the high holiday of Rosh Hashana this evening, I wish you Shanah Tovah.
Tim O. Mains, Pine Bush Superintendent