Update from the Superintendent - January 18, 2022
Dear Parents and Guardians:
We have been working closely with the Dutchess County Department of Behavioral & Community Health (DBCH) to monitor the effects of the Omicron COVID-19 variant and following updated New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) guidance. Formal contact tracing efforts are winding down, and orders of quarantine will no longer be issued by the County, or by schools on the County’s behalf. Current school guidance emphasizes, and depends on, personal responsibility to contain the spread. This strategy requires that:
- those who know they are positive to isolate themselves (and if it’s on a home test, report their positive test result)
- symptomatic individuals self-isolate and obtain timely testing to determine if they have been infected with COVID-19
- if they test positive, informing their known close contacts, and
- for those who learn they are contacts, self-quarantining as appropriate.
Moving forward, the Pine Plains Central School District will now follow the new DBCH and NYSDOH guidance (attached). More information about Isolation and Quarantine can be found by clicking on the following link, New York State’s Approach to Isolation and Quarantine.
Below are some of the important changes and information to guide you:
- COVID-19 POSITIVE RESULTS- Those who know they are positive are to isolate themselves for a minimum of 5 days, where the onset of symptoms or date of positive test if asymptomatic is Day 0. You should inform known close contacts and complete the Affirmation Of Isolation. Additionally, please notify your school nurse.
- CLOSE CONTACTS- The District will notify parents/guardian and staff, via email, of a potential exposure date. Families who do not have an email address will be contacted via phone.
- If your child received a booster when eligible, received their second dose of COVID vaccine within the last five months, or had a confirmed case of COVID-19 within the last 90 days, there is no need for your child to quarantine.
- Otherwise, your child may need to quarantine for five days (last date of contact is Day 0) and wear a well-fitting mask around others. If you or your child are aware they were a close contact with an individual who had symptoms or tested positive for COVID-19, please complete an Affirmation Of Quarantine. Even if your child must quarantine, they are encouraged to attend school by participating in our Test to Stay program. NOTE - Testing strategies such as TTS cannot be used for participation in extracurricular activities as this is inconsistent with quarantine guidance.
- TESTING- All Testing for the Test to Stay program will take place at the Health Office of Cold Spring ELC, Seymour Smith ILC or Stissing Mountain Jr. Sr. HS.
- FREE AT-HOME COVID-19 TEST KITS- if you were unable to pick up a test kit you can still request one by calling the main office of your child’s school. We are also in the position to offer families an additional test kit, if desired. This too can be requested by calling the main office of your child’s school.
Regardless of vaccination status, it is essential you and your child are looking out for symptoms including sore throat, nasal congestion or runny nose, fever, cough, body aches, and fatigue. If any symptoms develop, please isolate your child immediately and seek testing.
We continue to be fully committed to sustaining and maintaining in-person learning. We will continue the mitigations we have in place such as universal mask-wearing, social distancing, and consistent cleaning of our facilities as well as providing the information and support our families need to understand and navigate changing guidance and expectations.
Please continue to contact your child’s school nurse to report COVID-19 positive results as well as to ask questions regarding guidance and protocols. We will continue to share guidance and information as we receive it.
Dr. Martin D Handler
Please refer to the following links for more information:
NYS DOH - 1.14.2022 - Updated Isolation & Quarantine Guidance
DBCH - 1.14.2022 - Memo - Contact Tracing Changes for Schools
Forms and Guides for Isolation and Quarantine
COVID Testing Forms
Frontline HealthPortal Registration Information for Faculty / Staff and FamiliesURL for Frontline Health Portal
Health Portal URL: https://healthofficeportal.com/SHM_Pine_Plains_Central_School_District/Portal/Login.aspx
Directions for setting up your account
Link to Mobile App and Health Portal Landing Page Instructions: https://help.frontlinek12.com/SHM-Family-Faculty-Help/index.htm
Frontline Health Portal Mobile App SPECIFIC Instructions: https://help.frontlinek12.com/SHM-Family-Faculty-Help/Frontline_HealthPortal_MobileApp.pdf
Frontline Health Portal Mobile App SPECIFIC Instructions SPANISH VERSION: https://help.frontlinek12.com/SHM-Family-Faculty-Help/Frontline_HealthPortal_MobileApp_es-US.PDF
Frontline Health Portal Desktop version SPECIFIC Instructions: https://help.frontlinek12.com/SHM-Family-Faculty-Help/Frontline_HealthPortal_Desktop_Registration.pdf
If you are having issues setting up your account, please contact Mrs. Julia Tomaine in the District Office at (518) 398-7181 x1408 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org