COVID Related Updates

Greetings!

I hope that you all had a good week and that you are preparing to enjoy a relaxing long weekend.  At the time of this writing, we have already completed FIVE WEEKS of school!  It has been a terrific first month+ at HCS. Teaching and learning are omnipresent... and we could not be more pleased to have all of our BULLDOGS onsite at the POUND this year.  

I am reaching out this afternoon with a few COVID related updates.

OCDOH Contract Nurse Scheduled to Begin Thursday, 10/14
  • HCS will be provided additional support in our Health Office from a contract nurse funded by a grant secured by OCDOH.
  • OCDOH has contracted nurses for Ontario County school districts through Finger Lakes Staffing Services.
  • The contract nurse assigned to HCS is Brenda Toner, LPN. Brenda is scheduled to be in district at HCS every Monday and Thursday beginning on 10/14.
  • We will have additional support from a second contract nurse, Tammi Harling. Tammi will be a shared support between our district and Bloomfield Central School District.  We expect that she will alternate Fridays between both districts.
  • Note: Contract nurse schedule may be subject to change.
COVID-19 Diagnostic Testing to Commence 10/14
  • Diagnostic COVID testing is OPTIONAL for faculty, students and staff.
  • HCS will be provided diagnostic COVID testing materials through a grant secured by OCDOH.
  • Our diagnostic testing materials will be delivered to the district and be operable on Thursday, 10/14.
  • The diagnostic testing protocol includes the use of an Abbott PCR machine with rapid kits. 
  • Diagnostic test administration involves a shallow swab of an individuals' nasal cavity. 
  • Test results are typically available within 15 minutes of test administration.  
  • We will be required to document all diagnostic testing and report data to OCDOH and to NYS.
  • Note: Diagnostic testing may be conducted on students ONLY with signed parent/guardian consent.  Upon receipt of signed parent consent, nurse will still call parent/guardian PRIOR to any administration of a diagnostic COVID test.
Utility of COVID-19 Diagnostic Testing
Diagnostic COVID testing is OPTIONAL for faculty, students and staff. Our school nurse, Marybeth Tonkery, pushed out a communication and parent / guardian consent form for diagnostic testing via ParentSquare on September 10. For those families who have submitted a signed parent/guardian consent form, the COVID-19 diagnostic testing may be utilized as follows:
  1. Scenario 1: Student, teacher, staff member with NO KNOWN exposure to COVID exhibits symptoms of COVID
    1. HCS nurse conducts medical assessment. 
    2. Medical assessment may result in sending individual home ill (for example, a student vomiting or with fever would be sent home), OR, with signed consent for diagnostic COVID testing (and symptoms are mild, such as a runny nose), nurse may offer option of diagnostic COVID testing.  Note: Parent /guardian will be contacted prior to any diagnostic testing of a student, even with signed consent.   
    3. If individual opts for diagnostic testing (and there is prior written consent for student), testing may be administered in school. 
    4. Tested individual will remain in isolation room pending test results. Test results are typically available within 15 minutes of test administration.  
    5. If test result is negative, an individual may remain in school. If the test result is positive, an individual must be dismissed from school and quarantined, according to DOH guidelines.
    6. Note: If test result is negative, an individual may remain in school with subsequent days of diagnostic testing, UNLESS symptoms worsen. 
  2. Scenario 2: Vaccinated student, teacher, staff member is exposed to COVID and is symptomatic
    1.  With signed consent for diagnostic COVID testing (and symptoms are mild, such as a runny nose), nurse will offer option of diagnostic COVID testing.  Note: Parent /guardian will be contacted prior to any diagnostic testing of a student, even with signed consent.   
    2. If individual opts for diagnostic testing (and there is prior written consent for student), testing may be administered in school. 
    3. Tested individual will remain in isolation room pending test results. Test results are typically available within 15 minutes of test administration.  
    4. If test result is negative, the individual may remain in school. Diagnostic testing for this individual must be conducted daily for ten days. 
    5. If the test result is positive, the individual must be dismissed from school and quarantined, according to DOH guidelines.
    6. Reminder:  A vaccinated student, teacher, or staff member who is exposed to COVID and is asymptomatic may remain in school and must mask both indoors and outdoors for 14 days from date of exposure. 
  3. Scenario 3: Unvaccinated student, teacher, staff member is exposed to COVID and is asymptomatic or symptomatic
    1. With signed consent for diagnostic COVID testing (and symptoms are mild, such as a runny nose), nurse will offer option of diagnostic COVID testing.  Note: Parent /guardian will be contacted prior to any diagnostic testing of a student, even with signed consent.   
    2. If individual opts for diagnostic testing (and there is prior written consent for student), testing may be administered in school. 
    3. Tested individual will remain in isolation room pending test results. Test results are typically available within 15 minutes of test administration.  
    4. If test result is negative, the individual may remain in school. Diagnostic testing for this individual must be conducted daily for ten days. 
    5. If the test result is positive, the individual must be dismissed from school and quarantined, according to DOH guidelines.
Please Note:  Diagnostic COVID testing is OPTIONAL for faculty, students and staff.  As interested, families may still submit the required and signed parent/ guardian consent form for COVID-19 diagnostic testing. Consent form document attached.

COVID-19 Screening Testing to Commence Soon 
  • You may recollect that unvaccinated teachers and staff working in a P-12 school setting are required to get tested once per week when a school is operating in a geographic area identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has having low, moderate, substantial or high transmission rates (basically at all times).  
    • Note: COVID screenings or proof of vaccination is mandatory for all teachers and staff.
  • Additionally, P-12 schools are required to offer screening testing to students once per week, with appropriate parent and guardian consent for minors, when such schools are operating in geographic areas identified by the CDC as have moderate, substantial, or high transmission rates (basically at all times).  
    • Note: COVID screenings are not mandatory for students.  The ability of the district to offer such screening for students IS required.
  • Ontario County will provide the necessary resources and training to conduct screening testing onsite at HCS. Individual "positive" results will be communicated to the district and NYSDOH (as required) within 24 - 48 hours.  The process for administration of "pooled testing" is noninvasive and includes obtaining a cheek swab.
  • We expect to launch screening testing soon at HCS. More information about COVID screening testing will be shared as it becomes available.
On behalf of the Honeoye Central School District, thank you for your ongoing support and partnership in advocacy for all HCS students.  There is no place like Honeoye...  As always, please feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns about the information included in this communication, or otherwise.

Warmest regards,
E. Bridget Ashton

Elizabeth Bridget Ashton
Superintendent, Honeoye Central School District
8528 Main Street
Honeoye, New York 14471
bridget.ashton@honeoye.org
On Twitter: @EBridgetAshton